Ableism 101 Workshop Series: (Brief) History of Disability Activism & Disability Rights
Welcome, this is the first session in our ableism 101 workshop series. What is Ableism? What is Disability?
Slide 2 Reminders
1) please make sure you sign in on the sheet up front
2) create a name tag with your name and pronouns
3) grab a workbook for the workshop.
Slide 3 Guidelines
Guidelines for this workshop are adapted from AnaLouise Keating’s Teaching Transformation, appendix 2.
- What is shared in this space, stays here. But what you learn here, can leave this space.
- Please be mindful of how much you are speaking and if you are speaking over someone else. Please let folks finish their sentences and thoughts, only one person should be speaking at a time.
- Acknowledge that discrimination and oppression exists in many forms (e.g. sexism, racism, classism, ageism, homophobia, ableism, transphobia, islamophobia, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, fatphobia etc.)
- We will assume people are doing the best that they can. We all make mistakes despite our intentions. However even good intentions can have harmful impacts, therefore when someone says something offensive or inappropriate we will call them in. This is a learning environment and we are all constantly learning and (hopefully) trying to do better.
- We will share information about our groups with other individuals and we will never demean, devalue, or in any way put down people for their experiences.
Slide 4 Access Statement for this space
Please exist in this space in ways that are most comfortable for you. You can stand up, sit down, lay down, stretch, walk around, leave the room, stim, use your electronics as needed. Understand that everyone exists in spaces in different ways, and how someone can best engage and listen might look different than how you do.
Gendered bathrooms & drinking fountains are located just to the left of here after the elevator.
If you need a quiet space, we have two offices that you are welcome to use.
We will have a set break during this workshop but can take additional breaks if needed.
Anything to add?
We will do short introductions for everyone in the space with your name, gender pronouns (she/her, he/him, they/them, xe/xem, ze/hir, x, your name, etc.), and briefly What is something from the disability rights movement or disability history that you know about?
Slide 6 Guided Self Reflection
You will have about 3 minutes to write down your thoughts for the prompt: What have you been taught about disability history? Why do you believe much of this history is not taught or discussed?
Large group discussion about what we wrote in our guided self-reflections. Discussion prompts: What have you been taught about disability history? Why is disability history not taught?
Next, we are going to cover a few major disability history events
A content warning for this section: We will be discussing eugenics, the Holocaust, forced/coerced sterilization, and slavery. We may be using some ableist terminology during this section. You are welcome to step out of the room or use either of the offices. We will start the group work project at 3:40pm MST.
Eugenics, Slavery & Racial Science. Drapetomania was a conjectural mental illness that, in 1851, American physician Samuel A. Cartwright hypothesized as the cause of enslaved Africans fleeing captivity. “The disease-causing negroes to run away”
“Dysaesthesia Aethiopica is a disease peculiar to negroes, affecting both mind and body in a manner as well expressed by dysaesthesia, the name I have given it, as could be by a single term. There is both mind and sensibility, but both seem to be difficult to reach by impressions from without. There is a partial insensibility of the skin, and so great a hebetude of the intellectual faculties, as to be like a person half asleep, that is with difficulty aroused and kept awake. It differs from every other species of mental disease, as it is accompanied with physical signs or lesions of the body discoverable to the medical observer, which are always present and sufficient to account for the symptoms. It is much more prevalent among free negroes living in clusters by themselves, than among slaves on our plantations, and attacks only such slaves as live like free negroes in regard to diet, drinks, exercise, etc.” (Samuel Cartwright).
Image description: An image of Dr. Samuel Carwright with the text, "Drapetomania a psychiatric diagnosis: "Runaway Slave Syndrome"
And in 1865, Sir Francis Galton coined the term eugenics. “Eugenics is the belief that human evolution can be crafted by the encouraged breeding of people who are considered the most desirable—the ‘fit’—and the discouraged breeding of those who are considered the least desirable—the ‘unfit’” (Withers, 2012, p. 13). And while the specific term “eugenics” fell out of favor after World War II due to the centrality of eugenics to the Nazis medical experimentation and genocide, the movement was well established in the U.S. prior to Nazi doctrines about eugenics. Additionally, as Withers (2012) argues, “eugenics made up the foundation of the modern Western understanding of disability…some of the eugenic attitudes about disabled people and their reproduction remain present today” (p. 14). And more insidiously, we see these eugenic measures and beliefs justified through desires for “health” and betterment of society (Hubbard, 2013, p. 79).
Image description: a tree that reads “eugenics” on a banner at the top. The roots all have different disciplines written on them, from left to right: anatomy, physiology, biology, psychology, genetics, mental testing, anthropometry, history, geology, anthropology, archaeology, ethnology, geography, law, politics, statistics, economics, biography, genealogy, education, religion, sociology, psychiatry, surgery, and medicine. to the left of the tree text reads “eugenics is the self-direction” and on the right “of human evolution”. Beneath the tree text reads “like a tree eugenics draws its materials from many sources and organizes them into a harmonious entity.”
Slide 12 Continuing Eugenics, Slavery & Racial Science: Federal Immigration Act of 1882
This act Prohibited entry “to any ‘lunatic, idiot, or any person unable to take care of himself or herself without becoming a public charge’…. The law then denied entry to anyone judged ‘mentally or physically defective, such mental or physical defect being of a nature which may affect the ability of such alien to earn a living…Legislation added ‘imbeciles’ and ‘feeble-minded persons’ to list” (Baynton, 2001, p. 26).
In 1913 the United States Public Health Service administered the newly invented Binet IQ test to immigrants arriving at Ellis Island. Professional researchers recorded that "79% of the Italians, 80% of the Hungarians, 83% of the Jews, and 87% of the Russians are feeble-minded." The validity of the test was not challenged, and test results served to reinforce negative images of immigrants. Similar rhetoric is noted in the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, the 1924 Immigration Act, and by the current president’s administration, Ken Cuccinelli stated “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.’’ And the Supreme Court Ruled on January 27th 5-4 to allow green cards to be denied to immigrants if it is believed they will become overly dependent on government benefit programs.”
Image description: an old cartoon of a funnel from Europe to the U.S. with Uncle Sam cutting off the funnel at 3% with the opening being over-crowded.
Image description: the markings put onto immigrants arriving at Ellis Island for any disease or mental/physical disability. X: Suspected Mental Defect. X in a circle: Definite signs of mental disease observed. B: Back. C: Conjunctivitis. CT: Trachoma. E: Eyes. F: Face. Ft: Feet. G: Goiter. H: Heart. K: Hernia. L: Lameness. N: Neck. P: Physical and Lungs. Pg: Pregnant. Sc: Scalp (Favus). S: Senility.
Slide 13 Continuing Eugenics, Slavery & Racial Science: IQ Testing in 1904
The IQ test used know today was first created by Alfred Binet in France as a means to identify which children in primary school were having difficulties in the “normal” classroom (Gould, 1981, p. 386). Binet’s articles were then translated into English by psychologist H. H. Goddard, and also adapted to fit into his understanding of intelligence as a single entity (Gould, 1981, p. 388). Finally, it became the test used in the U.S. through being codified for IQ by Lewis M. Terman as the Stanford-Binet test (Gould, 1981, p. 389).
The Binet-Simon Measuring Scale of Intelligence created by psychologist Lewis M. Terman, which placed respondents into 7 categories: Superior, Normal, Dull, Borderline, Feebleminded, Imbecile and Idiot.
Its effects were furthered through the sterilization of anyone who was deemed “feebledminded” or below (Chavez-Garcia, 2012, p. 68), in addition to anyone who had schizophrenia, manic depression, psychosis, epilepsy, homosexuality, syphilis, blindness, deafness and physical deformities (p. 133).
Image description: An image of "steps in mental development" that show individuals on stairs labeled: idiot, low grade imbecile, medium imbecile, high grade imbecile, moron.
Image description: a chart of “classification types” and I.Q. (Intelligence Quotient). Listing from “Near genius or genius” down to “Idiot”.
Slide 14: Continuing Eugenics, Slavery & Racial Science: T-4 Programme in 1939
One hundred thousand children and adults with mental and physical disabilities were exterminated. Some who managed to live were subjected to inhumane and unconscionable medical experiments.The headquarters of Germany's Euthanasia Programme, established by the German government, was located at Tiergartenstrasse 4, Berlin. The code name for the Programme was T-4.
Hitler's rise to power was guided by the principles of racial hygiene, racial purity, and national health. The Nazi regime was committed to removing those individuals deemed unfit to live and produce inferior offspring. Hitler's definition of unfit was extremely broad and not only included "inferior races," but individuals with disabilities as well. By lethal injection or at killing stations, hundreds of thousands of people were put to death.
These individuals were referred to as “burdensome lives” and “useless eaters.”
In 1933 the "Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring” in Germany. In 1939 start of “mercy deaths.”
The mechanisms later used at death camps were first used to kill disabled individuals.
Image description: letter calling for the start of the T-4 Programme dated on Sept 1, 1939.
Image description: a cartoon showing one disabled person on the left, and a family of 5 on the right holding signs stating they both cost 5,50 reichmarks to maintain.
Slide 15: Sterilization Acts
Indiana’s first sterilization law in 1907: Williams et al. v Smith on May 11th.
This act authorized the board of managers of institutions “instrusted [sic] with the care of defectives and confirmed criminals and a committee of expert to perform an operation of vasectomy on an inmate, if deemed advisable, to prevent procreation…That on and after the passage of this act it shall be compulsory for each and every institution in the state, intrusted [sic] with the care of confirmed criminals, idiots, rapists and imbeciles, to appoint upon its staff, in addition to the regular institutional physician, two (2) skilled surgeons of recognized ability, whose duty it shall be, in conjunction with the chief physician of the institution, to examine the inmates as are recommended by the institutional physician and board of managers…”
Virginia Sterilization Law in 1924: In order for a sterilization to take place under the Eugenical Sterilization Act the superintendent of a colony or hospital had to present the case for each individual to be sterilized in the form of a petition to a special board of directors at said institution. A copy of this petition was also required to be presented to the patient and the legal guardian of the patient. Thirty days after the board deemed an individual fit for sterilization, the sterilization was permitted to occur. Appeals were heard but rarely considered. No individual involved in this process could be held civilly or criminally liable. Additionally, nothing in the Eugenical Sterilization Act could prevent a legally licensed doctor from partaking in a medical procedure that could “incidentally involve the nullification or destruction of reproductive functions” (SB 281, Virginia Sterilization Act; (Landman 1932, p. 84).
“The Black Stork” (1915) and Mississippi Appendectomies.
Image description: a movie poster for “The Black Stork” created by Dr. Harry J. Haiselden that supported eugenic infanticide to “improve the nation”. The poster shows a Black stork carrying a baby in a piece of cloth. The birth and child are surrounded by reviews of the movie stating “save the nation from itself—see ‘the black stork’” “Much misery will be spared if you see ‘the Black Stork’” “It is your duty to see ‘the Black Stork’” “When you have seen ‘the Black Stork’ you will force the Passage of a National Eugenics Law” “’The Black Stork’ is a plea for humanity to act—please see it.” “Did Dr. Hieselden do right? See ‘the Black Stork’” “Do not allow the nation to decay—see ‘the Black Stork’” “For the sake of your children see ‘the Black Stork."
“Eugenicists believed feeblemindedness, poverty, and violence to be hereditary--multigenerational defects, menaces that would lead to the downfall of the United States. They sought to cure the nation, restoring its health as defined through nationalism, whiteness, and wealth. More than 60,000 people were involuntarily sterilized, tens of thousands of people institutionalized, countless immigrants turned away at the border” (Eli Clare, Brilliant Imperfection, 111).
Slide 16 Continuing Sterilization Acts: Buck v Bell in 1927
The sterilization of Virginia resident Carrie Buck is perhaps the most infamous case of sterilization in not only Virginia but also the United States as a whole. Buck was deemed “defective” and institutionalized in the Virginia Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded four years after her mother was similarly institutionalized. Buck was classified as “feeble-minded” after giving birth to an illegitimate child as a result of rape by relative of her foster family. Her daughter was subsequently deemed feebleminded at the age of 6 months.” Under accusations of hereditary defectiveness, Carrie Buck faced a series of trials and appeals used to legitimize her pending sterilization. She was defended by Aubrey Strode, a known supporter of sterilization, whose defense focused more on the potential benefits of Buck’s sterilization than the consequences (Lombardo 2008b, p. 136) Nonetheless, with the 1927 Supreme Court ruling in Buck v. Bell, sterilization was legitimized and Buck was consequently sterilized to prevent the birth of more “defective” individuals. It was said by Supreme Court Justice, Oliver Holmes that “three generations of imbeciles are enough” (Lombardo 2003, pp. 2-4; Paul 1965, pp. 497-507).
Image description: (right) A photo of Carrie Buck and her mother Emma Buck sitting together on a bench. Outside of the State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Image description: (left) A sign that reads “Buck v. Bell in 1924, Virginia, like a majority of states then, enacted eugenic sterilization laws. Virginia’s law allowed state institutions to operate on individuals to prevent the conception of what were believed to be ‘genetically inferior’ children. Charlottesville native Carrie Buck (1906-1983), involuntarily committed to a state facility near Lynchburg, was chosen as the first person to be sterilized under the new law. The U.S. Supreme Court in Buck v. Bell, on 2 May 1927, affirmed the Virginia law. After Buck more than 8,000 other Virginians were sterilized before the most relevant parts of the act were repealed in 1974. Later evidence eventually showed that Buck and many others had no ‘hereditary defects.’ She is buried south of here.”
Slide 17 Disability Activism & Laws: Centers for Independent Living 1972
"The Berkeley CIL was also revolutionary as a model for advocacy-based organizations; no longer would we tolerate being spoken for. Our laws said that at least 51% of the staff and Board had to be people with disabilities, or it would be the same old oppression. We also saw the CIL as a model for joining all the splintered factions of different disability organizations. All types of people used and worked in our Center. This was the vision we had for the future of the movement”
The Berkeley CIL hosted the first national conference for independent living in 1975.
The success of the Center for Independent Living in Berkeley was soon followed by Centers in Boston and Houston. Within a decade, Centers for Independent Living were also established in other states.
Centers for Independent Living offer a range of services for persons with disabilities. Under the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1993, Centers are mandated to provide four "independent living core services" and may provide any of the other independent living services that are specified in the Amendments.
Information and referral services: Centers maintain comprehensive information files on accessible housing, transportation, employment opportunities, personal care attendants, interpreters for people with a hearing loss, readers for people who are blind; and many other services.
Independent living skills training: Centers provide or arrange training to assist people with disabilities to acquire and improve skills that will help them to live more independently.
Peer counseling (including cross-disability peer counseling): Centers offer services in which a person with a disability can work and share firsthand experiences with others who have disabilities and who are living independently in the community.
Individual and systems advocacy: Centers work on an individual basis with people with disabilities to obtain necessary and appropriate services and supports from other agencies in the community. Staff, board members, and volunteers initiate activities that will bring about systems change and result in greater independence for persons with disabilities.
Image description: CIL staffers carry a banner reading "Center for Independent Living Berkeley" through the streets of San Francisco. Photos taken by Ken Stein
Image description: Ed Roberts and The CIL team at the original Center for Independent Living office on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, California. Photos taken by Ken Stein
Slide 18 Continuing Disability Activism & Laws: Section 504 1973 & 1977; UN Declaration in 1975.
1973: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act was the first disability civil rights law to be enacted in the United States. It prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in programs that receive federal financial assistance and set the stage for enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Section 504 works together with the ADA and IDEA to protect children and adults with disabilities from exclusion, and unequal treatment in schools, jobs and the community.
In 1986 Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act required states to show that policies exist regarding the order in which individuals are selected to receive services ("order of selection" process) and to justify those policies; include in the state plan a plan for youth transition to employment; and reflect how the supported employment program would be implemented in the state. The definition of "severe handicap" was amended to include both functional and categorical criteria, and a definition of ''employability'' was added.
Between 1973 and 1977 no regulations were issued for the 504 Rehabilitation Act. During that period strong regulations were drafted by attorneys in the Office for Civil Rights, sent to the Secretary of HEW with a recommendation to publish them in proposed form in the Federal Register for public comment.
The protest was a 26-day sit in at the San Francisco Offices of the Federal Department of Health, Education, and Welfare led by the Center for Independent Living at UC Berkeley.
It began with a rally outside the federal building, then they marched inside where between 1 and 200 people would remain until the end. The Glide Memorial Church and the Black Panther Party provided meals for the protestors.
Image description: a black and white photo of protestors inside of the HEW building.
Image description: a photo of protestors outside, protesting for 504.
The United Nations General Assembly Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons:
The term "disabled person" means any person unable to ensure by himself or herself wholly or partly the necessities of a normal individual and/or social life, as a result of a deficiency, either congenital or not, in his or her physical or mental capabilities.
Disabled persons shall enjoy all the rights set forth in this Declaration. These rights shall be granted to all disabled persons without any exception whatsoever and without distinction or discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinions, national or social origin, state of wealth, birth, and any other situation applying either to the disabled person himself or herself or to his or her family.
Slide 19 Continuing Disability Activism and Laws: Institutionalization
1974: Removal of institutions in U.S. Executive Order 11776
President Richard Nixon issued Executive Order 11776 reaffirming the national goal of returning about one-third of the 200,000 people with mental retardation in public institutions to community residential placements.
Leading up to this executive order, President John F. Kennedy, whose sister Rosemary had mental retardation, launched the President's Panel on Mental Retardation and developed a "plan to combat mental retardation." Parent organizations filed lawsuits to force states to recognize the civil and legal rights of their children. Laws were passed to enforce these rights; services were established, and delivery systems were required to provide appropriate services to children and adults with disabilities. Actions were begun to close public institutions and assure that people with disabilities could live in and be a part of the natural community.
In the 1960s, the architecture of the buildings reflected the medical model with separate lounges, showers, and toilets for staff. Residents were grouped together in large, sterile rooms. Floors were made of heavy tile for easy cleaning. Bathrooms contained toilets without stalls for the convenience of cleaning and monitoring residents.
In 1965, Senator Robert Kennedy, accompanied by a television crew, toured the Willowbrook State School in New York and described what he saw during his visit.
In that same year, Senator Robert Kennedy addressed a joint session of the New York legislature on the "dehumanizing conditions" of the Rome and Willowbrook institutions in New York. Kennedy said that residents of these institutions were being denied equal access to education and deprived of their civil liberties.
By the early 1990s, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Washington D.C. and Maine had closed their public institutions, and many states had reduced the number and size of their institutions.
Official Closing of Institutions with Olmstead vs Lois Curtis 1999
Olmstead v Lois Curtis ruled that unnecessary institutionalization of people with disabilities constitutes discrimination and violates the ADA, that individuals have a right to receive benefits in the "most integrated setting appropriate to their needs," and that failure to find community-based placements for qualifying people with disabilities is illegal discrimination.
Image description: a photo of Lois Curtis holding a yellow sign that says “I am Olmstead”]
Image description: Sue Jamieson, Lois Curtis and Elaine Wilson sitting together.
Slide 20 Continuing: Disability Activism and Laws: Protests
1988: Gallaudet University Deaf President Now Protests
The Deaf President Now (DPN) movement led to the appointment of the University's first deaf president, Dr. I. King Jordan, and the Board of Trustees' first deaf chair, Philip Bravin. Since then, DPN has become synonymous with self-determination and empowerment for deaf and hard of hearing people everywhere.
The week-long protest by deaf students at Gallaudet University, calling for the appointment of a deaf university President, was a defining moment for the disability rights movement.
Image description: various student protesters carrying a banner reading “Deaf Prez Now!”
Image description: students waving flags and unrolling a banner reading “Deaf President Now."
1990: Capitol Crawl
When the ADA stalled in the House Committee on Public Works and Transportation (now the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure), people within the disability community became alarmed. About 475 individuals, many in wheelchairs, gathered on the sidewalk in front of the White House to launch the "Wheels of Justice Campaign". Sixty protesters with disabilities "cast aside their wheelchairs, crutches and walkers to crawl or drag themselves, step by step, up the 78 marble stairs of the Capitol's West Front.
This protest, that came to be known as the "Capitol Crawl", was intended to openly illustrate the struggles that people in the disability’s communities faced and spurred Congress to pass the ADA. About 1,000 other protesters watched as members of ADAPT (Americans Disabled for Accessible Public Transit, now known only as ADAPT) threw themselves out of their chairs and began their crawl. Together, the march and the crawl comprised one of the largest disability direct actions to date.
Image description: an image of multiple protesters climbing up the stairs of the capitol building.
Omage description: A black and white image of multiple protesters climbing up the stairs of the capitol building.
Slide 21 Continuing Disability Activism & Laws: Major Laws
1990: Passage of ADA
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The ADA is divided into five titles (or sections) that relate to different areas of public life.
Title I: Employment
Title II: Public Services: State and Local Government
Title III: Public Accommodations and Services Operated by Private Entities
Title IV: Telecommunications
Title V: Miscellaneous Provisions
Who is protected?
Disability – A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment.
Image description: An image of George Bush Sr. signing the ADA on the south lawn of the white house with Evan Kemp, chairman, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Justin Dart, chairman, President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities (right). Standing are the Rev. Harold Wilke (left) and Sandra Swift Parrino, chairperson, National Council on Disability (right).
1990 IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law that makes available a free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation and ensures special education and related services to those children.
The law guaranteed access to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE) to every child with a disability. Subsequent amendments, as reflected in the IDEA, have led to an increased emphasis on access to the general education curriculum, the provision of services for young children from birth through five, transition planning, and accountability for the achievement of students with disabilities. The IDEA upholds and protects the rights of infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities and their families.
Slide 22 Disability Justice Movements
1990: First Disability Pride March held in Boston
The first Disability Pride Day was held in Boston, MA. The featured speaker was Karen Thompson, author of Why Can't Sharon Kowalski Come Home? The Boston Disability Pride Parade was held again in 1991 but has not been held since in Boston.
1993: Mad Pride Movement is created
The mad pride movement started in Toronto, where the event has been held every year. The movement also gained momentum in the U.K. in 1999. And events and parades are now held globally in Brazil, Ireland, South Africa, Madagascar, and the United States.
Image description: Protesters holding a colorful sign reading "Mad Pride Toronto."
Image description: Protesters at Mad Pride in Salvador, Brazil in 2009 with various colorful signs.
2005: Disability justice collective formed
The Disability Justice Collective (DJC) is a national collective centering the lives and leadership of disabled people of color, Trans*, queer, poverty class folks and all brilliance from the margins.
Disability justice is a framework that examines disability and ableism as it relates to other forms of oppression and identity (race, class, gender, sexuality, citizenship, incarceration, size, etc.). It was developed starting in 2005 by the Disability Justice Collective, a group of "Black, brown, queer and trans" people including Patty Berne, Mia Mingus, Stacey Milburn, Leroy F. Moore Jr., Eli Clare, and Sebastian Margaret."
Image description: An image of Leroy Moore, a co-founder of the Disability Justice Collective and Sins Invalid posing with his hands out. Text above him reads "All bodies are unique an essential. All bodies are whole. All bodies have strengths and needs that must be met. We are powerful not despite the complexities of our bodies, but because of them. We move together, with no body left behind. This is disability justice.
2006: Sins Invalid formed
Patricia Berne co-founded Sins Invalid with Leroy Moore in 2006 and has been the driving force and creative vision behind our project for the past 12 years.
Sins Invalid is a disability justice-based performance project that incubates and celebrates artists with disabilities, centralizing artists of color and LGBTQ / gender-variant artists as communities who have been historically marginalized. Led by disabled people of color, Sins Invalid’s performance work explores the themes of sexuality, embodiment and the disabled body, developing provocative work where paradigms of “normal” and “sexy” are challenged, offering instead a vision of beauty and sexuality inclusive of all bodies and communities.
We define disability broadly to include people with physical impairments, people who belong to a sensory minority, people with emotional disabilities, people with cognitive challenges, and those with chronic/severe illness. We understand the experience of disability to occur within any and all walks of life, with deeply felt connections to all communities impacted by the medicalization of their bodies, including trans, gender variant and intersex people, and others whose bodies do not conform to our culture(s)' notions of "normal" or "functional."
Sins Invalid recognizes that we will be liberated as whole beings—as disabled, as queer, as brown, as black, as gender non-conforming, as trans, as women, as men, as non-binary gendered— we are far greater whole than partitioned. We recognize that our allies emerge from many communities and that demographic identity alone does not determine one's commitment to liberation.
Sins Invalid is committed to social and economic justice for all people with disabilities – in lockdowns, in shelters, on the streets, visibly disabled, invisibly disabled, sensory minority, environmentally injured, psychiatric survivors – moving beyond individual legal rights to collective human rights (Sins Invalid).
Slide 23 Recent Disability Laws
2005: U.N Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) & Optional Protocol (OP)
Has been ratified by 180 countries
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol (A/RES/61/106) was adopted on 13 December at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and was opened for signature on 30 March 2007. There were 82 signatories to the Convention, 44 signatories to the Optional Protocol, and 1 ratification of the Convention. This is the highest number of signatories in history to a UN Convention on its opening day. It is the first comprehensive human rights treaty of the 21st century and is the first human rights convention to be open for signature by regional integration organizations. The Convention entered into force on 3 May 2008.
Building on many decades of UN’s work in the field of disability, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted in 2006, has further advanced the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other international development frameworks, such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, the New Urban Agenda, and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development.
2008: ADA Amendments Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) was signed into law and became effective on January 1, 2009. The ADAAA made a number of significant changes to the definition of “disability.” The changes in the definition of disability in the ADAAA apply to all titles of the ADA, including Title I (employment practices of private employers with 15 or more employees, state and local governments, employment agencies, labor unions, agents of the employer and joint management labor committees); Title II (programs and activities of state and local government entities); and Title III (private entities that are considered places of public accommodation).
2008: The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) is a federal law that protects individuals from genetic discrimination in health insurance and employment. Genetic discrimination is the misuse of genetic information.
The genetic information protected by the law includes family health history, the results of genetic tests, the use of genetic counseling and other genetic services, and participation in genetic research.
With GINA’s protections, you can feel more comfortable talking about family health history with your family and healthcare providers. You may choose to use genetic testing and other services to learn about health risks without fear of genetic discrimination.
It is also against the law for an employer to request, require, or purchase the genetic information of a potential or current employee, or his or her family members. There are a few exceptions to when an employer can legally have your genetic information. If an employer does have the genetic information of an employee, the employer must keep it confidential and in a separate medical file.
Image description: George W. Bush signing GINA on May 21, 2008
2010: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), often shortened to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or nicknamed Obamacare, is a United States federal statute enacted by the 111th United States Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23. The law has 3 primary goals: 1) Make affordable health insurance available to more people. The law provides consumers with subsidies (“premium tax credits”) that lower costs for households with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level. 2) Expand the Medicaid program to cover all adults with income below 138% of the federal poverty level. (Not all states have expanded their Medicaid programs.) 3) Support innovative medical care delivery methods designed to lower the costs of health care generally.
Image description: Image of Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on March 23, 2010.
Five-minute break: bathroom, brain break, stretch
Slide 25 Group work activity: Disability History
Slide 26 Group work activity: Disability History
- You will be split up into six teams; Zoom participants will be one team
- Each team has 6 event items, and 6 years to match together
- You will have 15 minutes
- You can use any electronic devices, your own knowledge, or guess!
- Once determined, place the event card up on the large timeline at the front of the room; we will give you a key to check
**two changes to the workbook listing!
Group 4: change 1984 to1964 & Group 6: change 1974 to 1972
Slide 27 Group 1 Answers
- The First Diagnostic Statistical Manual is Created: 1952
- First Disability Cultural Center created in the U.S.: 2012
- The National League of the Blind organized marches on Trafalgar Square: 1920
- The U.N. declares it the International Year of Disabled Persons (IYDP): 1981
- Hunger strike at Fuchu Ryoiku Centre in Japan: 1970
- Ashley X receives “The Treatment”: 2004
Slide 28 Group 2 Answers
- Homosexuality removed from the DSM: 1973
- International Symposium on Disability Studies is held in São Paolo: 2013
- The UK passes the Disability Rights Act/Disability Discrimination Act: 1995
- The U.N. establishes December 3rd as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities: 1992
- Sit-in protests at the Tokyo Municipal Building: 1972
- The Rolling Quads is formed at UC Berkeley: 1969
Slide 29 Group 3 Answers
- Start of Paralympics: 1948
- India passes the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill: 2016
- The League for the Physically Handicapped protests in New York: 1935
- 5000 demonstrators protest the “Frankfurt Judgement” in West Germany: 1980
- Chicago repeals the last “ugly law”: 1974
- The First National Parent’s Conference is held in the U.S.: 1950
Slide 30 Group 4 Answers
- Start of Special Olympics: 1968
- Mad Pride “Orgulho Louco” starts in Brazil: 2007
- The Second World Congress to Improve the Welfare of the Deaf and Blind promotes oral instruction over sign language: 1880
- The "Cripples' Groups" (Krüppelgruppen) is founded in Germany: 1978
- The Disability Justice Network of Ontario is founded: 2018
- Disabled People South Africa (DPSA) is formed: 1964
Slide 31 Group 5 Answers
- Hysteria created as a disease: 5th Century BC
- Autistic Pride “Orgulho Autista” starts in Brazil: 2008
- The “Cripples’ Tribunal” (Krüppel-Tribunal) is held in Germany: 1981
- ADAPT (Able Disable All People Together) is founded in India: 1972
- The Canadian Human Rights Act is passed: 1977
- First international Symposium on Issues of Women and Disability Held in Beijing: 1995
Slide 32 Group 6 Answers
- First Disability Studies program is created: 1994
- The Disabled Persons Employment Act passes in the UK: 1944
- the Union of Physically Impaired Against Segregation (UPIAS) was formed: 1972
- Egypt names it the “Year of Disabled People”: 2018
- Terri Schiavo passes away: 2005
- The Kenya Union of the Blind is formed: 1959
Slide 33 Large Group Reflection
Each group share out a few of the events you had
- What new information did you learn?
- What do you want to learn more about?
Slide 34 Reminders!
- Our next workshop in Tuesday, February 4thfor Creating Access & Universal Design!
- Please come with questions you have about accessibility, accessible event planning, and universal design!