“People with disabilities in the GDR” – perspectives on public history from an inclusive historical research project

By Isabell Paulick and Sebastian Balling

Disability Studies is a trans- and interdisciplinary branch of science, which emerged from the international disability movement of the 1960s and has been discussed in scientific contexts in Germany since 2001 (Köbsell, 2012; Waldschmidt, 2015). It is based on a social model of disability, according to which people are hampered by society, for example by barriers, attitudes, actions and laws. This can be understood as a criticism of the medical model according to which people are handicapped due to a "defect".  Disability Studies thus represent a human rights model of disability (Degener, 2015). The emancipatory slogan "Nothing about us without us" is at the center of Disability Studies and therefore emphasizes the active role instead of the passive role of people with disabilities in the research process.

Started in April 2002 with the founding of the nationwide working group "Disability Studies in Germany" (AGDS …

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