The History of Disability Advocacy


We all know that the social climate for people with disabilities has changed drastically in the past few decades. How did we get here? What are some of the more important advances in advocacy? Participants will examine the who, what, when, and how of disability advocacy and discuss what experts in the field believe are still pressing issues in social justice for people with disabilities.


  • The Parent’s Movement
  • Nothing About Us Without Us
  • Independent Living
  • Disability Rights are Civil Rights – going forward

Sample Resources:

  • Carey, Allison C. (2009) On the Margins of Citizenship: Intellectual Disability and Civil Rights in Twentieth-Century America. Temple University Press
  • Fleischer, Doris & Zames, Frieda (2011)  The Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to Confrontation. Temple University Press.
  • Longmore, Paul K. (2003) Why I Burned My Book and Other Essays on Disability. Temple University Press
  • Pelka, Fred. (2013) What We Have Done: An Oral History of the Disability Rights Movement. University of Massachusetts Press