The disability rights movement has been the most recent ‘rights movement’ even in developed countries. Few countries in the world had any laws protecting people with disabilities until the 1990s. The Americans with Disabilities Act passed in 1990. The United Kingdom’s Disability Discrimination Act passed in 1995. Australia’s Disability Discrimination Act passed in 1992. The disability rights movement is young, but it fits within the context of other worldwide social movements fighting for equality and fairness for all people, regardless of gender, race, or sexual orientation. Long-term solutions to the lack of resources and protections for people with disabilities will require government support in all countries.
Our advocacy work starts with dialogue and education, and results in policy guidance and elevated awareness of the issues most affecting people with disabilities. Our efforts have encouraged the ratification and implementation of the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which includes mobility as a human right that is the government’s responsibility to ensure. Our work with physical therapists and medical facilities builds skills and understanding of what services people with disabilities need and how to provide those services. And our work in parent support groups and adaptive sports contributes to a broader effort to make people with disabilities more visible in their societies.