12 Critical Soc. Pol'y 5 (1992-1993)

handle is hein.journals/critsplcy12 and id is 1 raw text is: 





Institutional discrimination against disabled
people and the campaign for anti-
discrimination legislation

COLIN   BARNES


Abstract


e that disabled people experience


wayo tackking   it, ^This paper defines institutionaldiscriminaliodagainst
disablople describes how'it is rnanfest in the core   instiations of
Britis     ietyr andshois how, as a result, disabledpeople are compelled
to  enda   a  life of excessive poverty and unnecessary dependence on
others. h also explains whY much of the responsibitityforthisdsturbing
s,,-ate ofafrs lies with a succession ofBritish government Tfhe tpnalpart
oFediscussion focuses on disabled people'r collective   response to
intitudf 1   discrimination, in particular. self organisation, politici-
  sal.   'rd the demand  for the introduction o comprehensive an-
  4runadlon legislaion   together with an appropriate mechanism for
  enforcement.

INTRODUCTION
Evidence showing that disabled people have a significantly poorer standard
of living to that of non disabled people is now overwhelming and beyond
dispute (Barnes, 1991; Martin and White, 1988; Thompson et al, 1990).
Disabled  people and  their organisations have identified institutional
discrimination as the principal cause of the problem, and anti-discrimination
legislation as the best way of dealing with it. During the last 10 years there
have been several abortive attempts to get such legislation on to the statute
books (Barnes, 1991; Bynoe, et al, 1991; Oliver, 1985). Hitherto successive
Conservative governments  have blocked the introduction of these bills
arguing that there is little if any evidence of widespread discrimination
against disabled people.
  Behind the opposition to anti-discrimination legislation lie the assumptions
of the traditional individualistic medical view of disability explaining the


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