This history capstone chronologically details disability activism at Macalester in the context of the national disability rights movement. The paper provides primary source analyses of Macalester publications such as the Mac Weekly and interrogates the narratives in which disability appears. When the activism of people with disabilities at Macalester is rendered invisible, stigma around disability and discrimination of disabled individuals contines. This study emphasizes the importance of increasing the visibility, and raising awareness, of these histories. It finds that through their advocacy and labor, students with disabilities envisioned and brought about the contemporary disability services in a collective and intersectional way. The study responds to major questions such as: what did disability activism look like prior to major disability legislation in the 1970’s? How did the black power movement further disability innovation at Mac? In what ways did students create community around disability in the late 20th century? What problematic narratives did they confront? Where do we go next? The project is the first consolidated history of disability at Macalester and the first of many to come.
Chihak, Bea, "Narratives of Disability Activism at Macalester College, 1907 to the 1990s" (2020). Award Winning History Papers. 1.
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