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This text provides an analysis of the development and consequences of disability policies, contrasting policies grounded in medical definitions of disability with a "social model" of disability supported by disability rights campaigners in their pursuit of anti discrimination legislation. British policies are compared with the civil rights approach adopted in America and Australia and the welfare orientated stance of countries like Sweden, and the impacts of policy on disabled people according to their class, gender, age and ethnicity are explored.
ROBERT DRAKE is Lecturer in Social Policy at the University of Wales, Swansea, and an associate lecturer with the Open University. He has published research on equal opportunity policies (with Ken Blakemore), disability policy, and the role of the voluntary sector in Britain. Currently, he is researching disability policies within the broader context of the European Union.