Disability Rights Movement
In 1817, the American School for Deaf was founded in Hartford Connecticut. This was the first school for disabled children in the Western Hemisphere. Although this was not the beginning of the Disability Rights Movement, it was a start to society, making it possible for people to realize that there were those with disabilities out there in the world and something had to be done. The Disability Rights Movement fought for equal access, opportunity, consideration, and basic human respect along with dignity for those born blind, deaf, or anyone with other forms of physical or mental disability. The purpose of social movements is to provide social change regarding a specific issue in which a particular group of people or organization focuses on. Many people believe that the movement began in the 1990's because that is when the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed but they are mistaken. The Disability Rights Movement began in the middle of the 19th century and it gained a lot of knowledge around that time because after the Civil War, many people returned with disabilities and this made the disabled visible into the public arena. The Resource Mobilization Theory is one of the best theories that can be used to explain how the movement acquires and uses resources along with how important these resources are to the movement’s success. Most states in the US have their own website with information on the Disability Rights and resources that can be used to help the disabled. I used a journal, article, encyclopedia, and internet sources to help guide me with my research. The main argument that I am supporting is that people with disabilities should be able to live freely, openly and without pity and they should be accommodated without any restrictions or limitations. This is called Inclusion and it has only just begun to take place in our society today.
The Resource Mobilization Theory is an important theory in the study of Social Movements. This theory began in the 1970's and it has two main points. The first one is the members of the social movement are pushed to gather resources for the movement. The resources can include anything from money, knowledge, media, props, witnesses, labor, solidarity, and support from others whether they are internal or external. Social movements need these resources in order to be effective because the more resources used, the more social change is promoted and generated. The second point is for the members of the social movement to push people towards accomplishing the goals of that movement. The main argument of the theory is that social movements form when individuals like us grieve regarding a certain issue, therefore gathering sufficient resources to take action. The form of resources help shape the activity of the movement. Social Movements shift public opinion, influence the media, affect policy, and they become co-opted into the state when they are passed as an act or a law. Critics of this theory argue that resources are stressed too much and some movements are effective without certain resources and just the movements’ time, labor, and members alone. The critics of this theory make a valid point but I do believe that without resources for a movement, organization is difficult to occur and organization in a social movement is crucial for the movement to succeed. Social movements become a group culture that creates social order. Social order is a concept that refers to all those facts and society that remain constant over time.
People with disabilities have had to fight a tough battle against centuries of biased opinions and assumptions. Along with those biased thoughts, they have fought harmful stereotypes and fears. Just like the Civil Rights Movement and the Women’s Movement, the Disability Movement oppressed minorities and left the disabled people in a severe state of suffrage. In the 1800's, people with disabilities were seen as unfortunate...
Bibliography: "Disability Rights Florida" www.DisabilityRightsFlorida.org .N.P.,2012.Web 16 April 2013
Fleischer, Zames Doris, Zames, Frieda The Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to Confrontation. Temple University Press 2011
"A Brief History of the Disability Rights Movement" www.archive.adl.org/education/curriculum_connections N.P. 2005 Web 16 April 2013
Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice CA 2007. Volume 1, "Disability Rights Movement" pp. 463-465
Fine Alan Gary. "The Sociology of Local Action and Publics" Sociological Theory Volume 28 Issue 4 Nov 17, 2010 pp 355-376
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