n the 1970s, grassroots disability movements in many countries changed the thinking around disability and disability politics. Nonetheless, they were also part of larger political upheavals in the western world. How were they inspired by the socialist, feminist, and gay and lesbian movements? In addition, how did they relate to non-disabled allies? Organisations in Denmark and Sweden are investigated and compared to early disability-rights movements in the United Kingdom. Independently of each other, all groups developed materialist models, although only in Sweden and the United Kingdom did this lead to a linguistic distinction between ‘impairment’ and ‘disability’. Danish activists would rather use provocative language, while developing a social understanding of disability. They were also the only ones to discuss gender and sexuality. There are more similarities than differences between the movements, although the Danish specificities contributed to improvements in how Danes with disabilities can develop a positive sex life.
- In the 1970s, new political ideas grew about ways of living, equality between the sexes, gay and lesbian rights, and sexual freedom. New groups started to talk about how to understand disability.
- This article investigates whether the new disability groups in Denmark and Sweden talked about these ideas and whether they involved non-disabled people.
- Danish and Swedish disability groups are compared to early disability rights organisations in the United Kingdom. The Danish and Swedish disability groups were more open to non-disabled members than groups in the United Kingdom.
- The article also found that the Danish group discussed sexuality a lot. In Sweden and the United Kingdom, the disability groups did not talk about sex at all.