cover of book

Disability Protests: Contentious Politics, 1970 - 1999
by Sharon N. Barnartt and Richard Scotch
Gallaudet University Press, 2001
Cloth: 978-1-56368-112-7 | eISBN: 978-1-56368-204-9
Library of Congress Classification HV1553.B37 2001
Dewey Decimal Classification 323.3

Part and parcel to the civil rights movements of the past thirty years has been a sustained, coordinated effort among disabled Americans to secure equal rights and equal access to that of non-disabled people. Beyond merely providing a history of this movement, Sharon Barnartt and Richard Scotch's Disability Protests: Contentious Politics, 1970-1999 offers an incisive, sociological analysis of thirty years of protests, organization, and legislative victories within the deaf and disabled populations.

The authors begin with a thoughtful consideration of what constitutes "contentious" politics and what distinguishes a sustained social movement from isolated acts of protest. The numbers of disability rights protests are meticulously catalogued over the course of thirty years, revealing significant increases in both cross-disability actions as well as disability-specific actions. Political rancor within disability communities is addressed as well. Chapter four, "A Profile of Contentious Actions" confronts the thorny question of who is "deaf enough" or "disabled enough" to adequately represent their constituencies.

Barnartt and Scotch conclude by giving special attention to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the 1988 Deaf President Now protest, focusing on how these landmark events affected their proponents. Disability Protests offers an entirely original sociological perspective on the emerging movement for deaf and disability rights.

Sharon Barnartt is Professor of Sociology at Gallaudet University.

Richard Scotch is Associate Professor of Sociology and Political Economy at the University of Texas at Dallas.

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