N E W Y O R K C I T Y H I S T O R Y
The New York City Origins of the American Disability Rights Movement – An Historical and Family Exploration of the Hard-Won Street Battles for Physical Accessibility and Inclusion Policy in the U.S.
Monday, February 11, 2013, 11:00 am
Yachad/National Jewish Council for Disabilities
11 Broadway, 14th floor
New York, New York 10004
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of a professional development series for psychotherapists, social workers, advocates, doctors, and other practitioners, Warren will present a talk about the social and cultural forces that led to the emergence of the modern disability rights movement in New York City in the early 1960s, and his family’s deep involvement in the early leadership of that movement.
The disability rights movement is an important branch of the civil rights revolutions that rocked the United States in the postwar era. Unlike the rights revolutions wrought by African Americans, women, and the LGBT community, the disability rights movement is often overlooked, but it was truly a revolutionary effort. The founders of that movement gave voice to millions of Americans who had long been voiceless, and began the journey of an entire class of the American population up out of utter powerlessness. They initiated a successful battle against centuries of subjugation and a prejudice that was borne of equal measures of fear, guilt, misplaced parsimony, and a desire to retain a monopoly over the opportunities of life.
By fighting to enable the disabled to enter the agora and participate in mainstream social and political life; by redefining the disabled—even to themselves—as a minority group, the pioneers made the disabled community, for the first time, both conscious of its own existence and visible to the able-bodied world. Yet the story of the New York beginnings of the disability rights movement has never before been discussed anywhere.