Essay Example Dedicated to the Disability Rights Movements

Published: 2022-09-16
Essay Example Dedicated to the Disability Rights Movements
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Human rights
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1236 words
11 min read

The statement "while grievance regarding medical issues can be addressed in a democratic society, no such avenue is available in a genocidal totalitarian regime such as the Nazi Third Reich" is clearly explained within both novels (Patterson, 2018). At that time people oppressed and despised the disabled seeing them as a burden to the society. People with disabilities were also forced to enter institutions and asylums. Society hid people with disabilities from a mean, fearful, and biased world.

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This continued until the Civil War and World War I when our veterans returned in a disabled state expecting the US government to provide some sort of help or rehabilitation in exchange for their service in the nation. Although President Roosevelt was the first president with a disability to take office was a great advocate for the rehabilitation of people with disabilities, the nation was still operated under the assumption that being disabled was and abnormal condition and needed to be medically cured. In the 1940's and 1950's, World War II veterans started placing pressure on the government for rehabilitation for their disabilities.

Acts of treatment and the way that society perceives disability have undergone a series of transitions since the early 1900s. The change occurred because of continued efforts by people with disabilities to demand and have them implemented within the society. Like most civil rights movements, that of the disabled within the community has a long history. Significant examples of activism are depicted among various groups which can be dated back to the 1800s Shaping the livelihood, laws, events and many events within the society.

The disability movements are similar to the women's liberation movement and the movements of civil rights in that their primary objective was the acquisition of equal opportunity and access as well as basic human respect for those born with disabilities. Most grievances presented to the movement regarding medical issues were adequately addressed, and much progress has taken place (Patterson, 2018). The movement has played a significant role in creating a society whereby inclusion is present and better accommodation is provided for those with disabilities. The book is going to compare the existence of disability rights movements such as, from charity to confrontation and the Nazi doctors and how both movements were able to achieve their goals during their regimes.

From Charity to Confrontation

According to sociologists social change occurs in different ways and can be because of many natural events, government policies, and technological innovations. However social movements remain the most profound methods of enforcing social change in society (Fleischer et al., 2012). The movement from Charity to confrontation played a vital role in conveying information to the public and altering social arrangements and existing attitudes within society.

People with disabilities are the most oppressed and impoverished groups within society. From charity to confrontation is a movement which struggled for rights of the disabled in the United States. The movement's era was one filled with shifts in policies and consciousness that allowing the group to maintain focus in disabilities within the society including deafness and blindness. The movement aimed at promoting activism and making of policies across all groups with disabilities. The movement actions and methods were at that time safeguarded by the Americans with disabilities act, an American policy which was installed to guide the movements as they fought for the rights of the disabled. Similar to other activist right struggles, the movement carried out their strikes in the streets as well as courts fighting for the rights of the disabled (Fleischer et al., 2012).

Disability rights movements mirror the history of the country. This is because the world wars played a significant role in sparking changes in policies for the disabled community and improvements to medical equipment as most veterans who survived the war needed advanced medical treatment. Roosevelt was the first president with a disability to take office was a great advocate for the rehabilitation of people with disabilities; the nation was still operated under the assumption that being disabled was and abnormal state and needed to be medically cured. In the 1940's and 1950's, World War II veterans started placing pressure on the government for healing for their disabilities. Disability rights within the United States had available loopholes they could tap into and received protection from the constitution and existing policies. The availability of constitutional laws plays an active role in protecting the disabled and lays down rules against oppressing any individual within society. This enabled the movement to effectively fight off oppression and realize rights for people with disability rights within the community. The book further mentions on how people with disabilities and medical grievances were addressed within the society. The league of the physically disabled was revolutionary in that it acted as the first organization to confront the government and the public demanding for rights for the disabled.

The Nazi doctors

Under the Nazi Germany program, individuals with mental and physical disabilities were executed by their physicians against their will. The oppression disabled people were exposed to was extreme to the extent that if affects every sense of their world. Disabled people within the society lacked constitutional rights to protect them or their liberty. The group lacked statutory rights they could utilize and fights for their rights against discrimination as well as their autonomy. They were denied a guarantee of safety or security for their rights. According to lift on the Nazis once considered murdering people with imperfections with the aim of creating a whole new society free from disabled individuals. To accomplish their dream, they started committing mercy killings and struggling to keep their actions hidden from the world. The Nazi doctors followed Hitler's philosophy which states that it's the responsibility of the state to "declare disabled people unfit for propagation and cast them off (Lifton, 1986).

The Nazi doctors played a significant part within the regime often termed as evil responsibilities. The Nazis were faced with a constant struggle in keeping what they were carrying out from the world. According to the judge, the Nazi doctors were fully aware of their dong, and the citizens too were informed of the situation but chose not to react as a way of avoiding conflict with the totalitarian fruit (Lifton, 1986). The book acts as a clear definition of the absence of equality avenues within a genocidal regime such as that of Hitler. Disability movements that existed during the era of Hitler functioned with dungeons forcing them to fight for their rights ineffectively.


Both movements existed within different environments which draws the big line of difference between them. From charity to confrontation existed within a democratic society thus allowing them to actively fight over their rights while being safeguarded by the constitution. The Nazi doctors, however, appears to be quite the opposite in that they oppress the disabled with the assumption that the disabled appeared as imperfections within the society. The existence of democracy allows issues to be addressed through the law, whereas within the totalitarian regime democracy did not exist leading to the oppression and marginalization of the disabled individuals within the society.


Fleischer, D. Z., Zames, F. D., & Zames, F. (2012). The disability rights movement: From charity to confrontation. Temple University Press.

Lifton, R. J. (1986). The Nazi doctors: Medical killing and the psychology of genocide (Vol. 19). New York: Basic Books.

Patterson, L. (2018). The Disability Rights Movement in the United States. The Oxford Handbook of Disability History, 439.

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