One of the problems facing the battle for the liberation of disabled people is that everyone calls themselves a disability activist when they are indeed many different ‘flavours’ of activist, and this is very important to recognise and understand. I would argue that remix these mix of flavours, there are two which currently stand out as prominent at this time, laying a battleground between differing ideologies, and these are welfare activists, and inclusion activists.
The ideologists of welfare and inclusion are the modern equivalent of the battle between the medical and social models of disability. The welfare activists, which includes by her own admission people like Sue Marsh, simply understand sickness and disability within the status quo in being regarded as naturally inferior, when monies should simply be provided to disabled people to offer them humane lifestyle as non-contributing members of society.
Inclusion activists believe the same amount of money, if not more at the right time, can be used to support sick and disabled people to have a better quality of life as fully contributing members of society who deserve the right to be fully included in society, not left on the sidelines. The inclusion agenda has been around for decades and it has lost its way and lost ground to the publicly more palatable welfare agenda. By recognising the divide by welfare and inclusion activists, understanding there are not compatible with each other, it is allow people to understand the split in disability activists.
So from today, I will regard myself as a controversial inclusion activist as a starting point to encourage others to no longer simply say they are disability activists, but to come clean with what side of the fence they are, especially as we approach the next election and the inclusion agenda needs to be rescued from the damage caused by the by the negative welfare agenda.
So who do you support? The past of welfare or the future of inclusion
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