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Abstract from

What Can Disability Tell us about Participation?

Anna Yeatman

Participation is a political category that refers to whether individuals are invited to act as autonomous agents, and in this way to be and become individual selves. The established approach to participation confuses it with the status of independence where an individual is both self-governing and able to govern others. On this approach, most people with a moderate to severe intellectual impairment are excluded from the right to participate. Thus, contemporary advocacy of the right to participate of people with an intellectual disability must make a distinction between autonomy and independence. That distinction is explored here, and Yeatman suggests that it opens up a richer and more complex understanding of participation for all individuals than is available in the established approach.

(2000) 17(2) Law in Context 181
Keywords: Discrimination

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