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This report discusses the societal oppression of people with disabilities and the growing awareness of a new group consciousness and an emerging disability culture. It examines social attitudes toward individuals with disabilities; the effects of using a medical model of disability, with its implications for the objectification and control of people with disabilities; the movement of people with disabilities toward a sociopolitical model as members of a distinct minority group; and the values of this emerging culture such as accepting a disability as a source of pride and viewing life with a disability as worth living and celebrating. The functions of a disability culture are presented, including: (1) providing symbols, rituals, and values that serve to strengthen personal and group identity; (2) uniting people with disabilities and experiences, facilitating group action; (3) empowering people with disabilities by providing a variety of ways to inform others about themselves; and (4) inspiring other people with disabilities to self-identify. The paper also discusses the need for greater societal access and for stronger implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Contains 23 references.) (CR)

Descriptors: Civil Rights Legislation, Cultural Background, Cultural Context, Disabilities, Empowerment, Identification (Psychology), Self Concept, Social Attitudes, Social Experience, Social Influences, Social Integration, Values

University of Minnesota, Disability Services, 12 Johnston Hall, 101 Pleasant Street, SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455.

Autor: Robertson, Barbara A.

Fuente: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=7298&id=ED399733

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