How Has the Disability Rights Movement Changed Over the Past 50 Years?

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Disability rights have come a long way over the past two decades. The way in which the disabled are viewed and treated has thankfully improved dramatically and it’s largely thanks to the Disability Rights Movement.

Here, we’ll look at how the disability rights movement has changed over the past 50 years.

How things used to be

Back in the early 1900’s, the disabled were labelled as feeble minded by scientists and politicians alike. If you go back 50 years from now, there wasn’t any welfare or security system to support those with disabilities. In fact, it was only 20 years ago that the law to make discrimination against those who were disabled illegal, was introduced.

How has attitudes towards disability changed?

The Disability Rights Movement has really helped to alter people’s attitudes towards the disabled. While there are still some negative perceptions that need to change, on the whole those with disabilities are treated much more fairly.

In the workplace, employers are required by law to make reasonable adjustments. This includes adding ramps and lifts instead of just stairs and making doorways and corridors wider to accommodate wheelchair access. By law, the disabled have far more rights now than they ever had before.   

Improvements in mobility and accessibility

One of the main factors which has helped to improve the lives of the disabled, has been the improvements made within the mobility and accessibility sector. Advancements in technology have enabled manufacturers to develop a wide range of mobility and accessibility aids.

From in-home adaptations such as grab rails and emergency cords, to the development of mobility scooters to promote independent living. Now, there are companies which specialize in helping those with disabilities lead a better quality, more independent lifestyle. Companies like Allied Mobility, provide specially adapted vehicles to ensure wheelchair users can easily get around.

These changes in mobility and accessibility have helped the disabled gain more of an equal footing with their non-disabled peers. Improvements continue to be made, with technologies such as self-driving cars sure to boost mobility and accessibility even further.

The Disability Rights Movement has certainly helped to change the way the disabled are viewed and treated today. Campaigners have fought long and hard to improve the rights of the disabled and ensure they are treated equally. It’s likely that in another 50 years, disabled rights will have changed significantly for the better. 

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