By Colin Barnes, Geof Mercer
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Additional resources for Independent Futures: Creating user-led disability services in a disabling society
The controlling role was taken by disabled people (whether current service users or not). The initiation and direction of their own organisations became a key indicator of disability activism, far beyond being involved in consultations about traditional social ‘care’ services. This links with the priority given by organisations of disabled people to the provision of appropriate and accountable support in general and more 43 Independent futures specifically to personal assistance as the necessary foundations to enable disabled people to live independently and on equal terms in mainstream society (Oliver, 1990; Morris, 1993a).
Many executive directors of CILs and disability rights groups are apolitical, outside narrowly defined disability related issues. Most disability rights groups avoid demonstrations because they are considered outdated, or because they would alienate funding sources. (Charlton, 1998, p 122) 32 Disability activism and the struggle for independent living Disability activism in Britain In Britain, early disability activism centred on small groups of disabled people living in residential institutions.
Alternatives to public sector provision included private residential homes and voluntary sector provision in day 23 Independent futures centres. Considerable significance was also attached to the responsibilities of the family and other ‘informal’ or unpaid ‘carers’. In this new scenario, the state was assigned a very different role – through the creation of quasi-markets, privatisation (including charging for those services previously free at the point of delivery), contracting out, and new inter-organisational and social partnerships (Clarke, 2004).