Beyond Affliction: Intro to Policy

click here for the 1820 to 1870 period click here for the 1870 to 1930 period
click here for the 1930 to 1970 period click here for the 1970 to the present time

Disability, which is most commonly understood today as solely a personal or individual medical problem, is in fact a social and economic phenomenon as well. A social compact has long existed whereby society agrees that there are persons who should be given various forms of aid, among them people with certain disabilities. The aid offered has ranged from personal charity and the almshouse in the earliest period, to today's hugely complex network of social welfare and medical insurance programs. Many such programs have grown up separately, and with differing purposes, and many have unintended consequences for people with disabilities today.



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