The Disability Rights Movement & the Legacy of Poets with Disabilities

By Jillian Weise

This essay explores the Disability Rights Movement and searches for a poet affiliated with that movement. The sit-in at the San Francisco Federal Building in 1977 marked a defining point in the movement. The sit-in resulted in the ratification of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and paved the way for the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. What poetic conversations were created by the sit-in and disability culture of the 1970s? How do those conversations persist in the contemporary moment? Who is writing disability in persona? And who is writing disability from an authentic perspective? Finally, what is the future of disability studies within the field of poetry?

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