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social policy in the United States and Canada.

A sociological overview of the development of the rights movement is provided. The movement arose to combat the oppressive marginalization of persons with disabilities. It sought both to empower them to take control of their own lives and to influence social policies and practices to further the inclusion of individuals with disabilities into the societal mainstream. It developed in three phases. In the first phase, a definition of both what the problem is and of what its sources are, was offered. In the second, a consensus was established and acted upon as to a collective solution to the problem. In the third phase, it responded to the aftermath of new policies and practices.