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Visual & Performing Arts
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Disabilty Activism (Essay Sample)

Kitchin and Wilson talk about the state¡¯s role both in terms of providing opportunity for social change and as a constraining power. What are some methods the state uses to constrain the power of disability activism? Kitchin, R. and Wilton, R. (2003) Disabilty Activism and the Politics of Scale. The Canadian Geographer, 47( 2), 97-115. Available at: http://eprints(dot)nuim(dot)ie/3894/1/RK_Disability_Activism.pdf source..

The State and application of constraints on disability Activism
Disability activism aims to uphold the rights of people with disabilities and eliminate discrimination towards this community. Nowadays, activists aim to achieve their goals through civil rights legislation and lobbying. At the core of activism is the demand for more inclusion of disabled people in the workforce and daily activities including transportation, education and housing. The participation of disability activists in the political process has led to more attention to this community, but this has also been accompanied by attempts by the State to minimize their activities.
The State may constrain disability activism through legislative hurdles. In 1995 the Canadian government refused to legislate on disability after initially promising to do so in the pre election era (Kitchin & Wilton, 2003). Thus, disability activists began more lobbying and there was more media coverage. In 1998 there was a disability Act which was subsequently by activists rejected as a watered down version of the disability bill. Therefore, the State may use legislative powers to constrain disability activism.
In Ireland the State minimizes the impact of disability activism through the political structure in which clientelism prevails with many disability groups being funded by the State (Kitchin & Wilton, 2003). Thus, the extent to which activism is able to cater for the welfare of disabled people is dictated by the State. Activism is less visible at the national level because it is depoliticized the State and reforms are less likely to occur. Because of clientelism, disability activism may be less visible than volun...
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