At the margins of society

disability rights and inclusion in 1980s Singapore

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A new era focused on the inclusion of disabled people in society has emerged in recent years around the world. The emergence of this particular discourse of inclusion can be traced to the 1980s, when disabled people worldwide gathered in Singapore to form Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI) and adopted a language of the social model of disability to challenge their exclusion in society. This paper examines the responses of disabled people in Singapore in the decade in and around the formation of DPI. As the social model and disability rights took hold in Singapore, disabled people in Singapore began to advocate for their equal participation in society. In mapping some of the contestations in the 1980s, I expose the logics prevailing in society and how disabled people in Singapore argued for their inclusion in society as well as its implications for our understanding of inclusion in Singapore today.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1813-1829
Number of pages17
JournalDisability and the Global South
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

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  • disability studies
  • Singapore
  • inclusion
  • normalcy

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