Self-Definition and Autonomy

Historically, disabled people have been forced into dependency. Others would speak for them, label them, and take care of them-often with the best intentions.

As a result of 20th-century developments in biotechnical medicine, by the 1950s, more and more people survived formerly fatal injuries and diseases. Efforts by this growing population of military veterans and young adults to participate fully in society gained momentum.

They were energized by the struggles of African Americans. Both groups have confronted numerous stereotypes in their quest for equality, inclusion in public affairs, and sometimes the right simply to live.

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