During the twentieth century, the term “minority” took on new meaning in the contexts of social science scholarship and civil rights campaigns. For disability activists and scholars, defining disabled people as a minority group similar to African Americans, women, and others has been a means to claim civil rights protections, define a more cohesive and empowered group identity, counter the medical model of disability, and advance the scholarship and academic legitimacy of disability studies.

This essay may be found on page 122 of the printed volume.

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