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Disability Rights & Disability Studies

This guide provides information and resources on the Disability Rights Movement. The Disability Rights Movement is a global social movement to secure equal opportunities and equal rights for all people with disabilities.

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Disability Rights

The Disability Rights Movement is a global social movement to secure equal opportunities and equal rights for all people with disabilities.

It is made up of organizations of disability activists, also known as disability advocates, around the world working together with similar goals and demands, such as: accessibility and safety in architecture, transportation, and the physical environment; equal opportunities in independent living, employment equity, education, and housing; and freedom from discrimination, abuse, neglect, and from other rights violations. Disability activists are working to break institutional, physical, and societal barriers that prevent people with disabilities from living their lives like other citizens.

Disability rights is complex because there are multiple ways in which a person with a disability can have their rights violated. It is a form of discrimination in which others fail to address a person with disability needs. More specifically, in the 21st century a noteworthy barrier for employment is an employers’ unwillingness or inability to provide the necessary accommodations. When having a discussion about the needs of persons with disabilities, solutions include persons with disabilities as active participants to some extent. Current systems exist that involve third party involvement, such as mental rehabilitation and legal advocacy, but few of these methods include empowering this group to be self-sufficient.


Disability Studies

Disability studies is an academic discipline that examines the meaning, nature, and consequences of disability. Initially, the field focused on the division between "impairment" and "disability", where impairment was an impairment of an individual's mind or body, while disability was considered a social construct.