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DEMOS Project

Online Materials for Staff Disability Awareness
[Modules] : Disability Awareness

Brief history of modern approaches to disability

The beginnings of segregation

Modern approaches to dealing with disability stem from the rise of the industrial revolution in the late 18th century. Production moved away from the agricultural and home economies in which disabled people could be supported, to industries such as mining and cotton which required a more efficient, complex level of work from employees.

Due to the passing of the Poor Law Amendment Act (1834), those who were unable to work and were unable to support themselves usually became the responsibility of the state. The solution was to house many people in institutions and the 19th century saw the rise of workhouses and asylums.

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