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Author: Jenny Morris

In 2005, the British government committed itself to achieving independent living for disabled people and set out proposals for delivering this aim. This chapter examines the role of research evidence and the disability movement in influencing government policy, situating the discussion in the context of wider debates on citizenship, human rights, and the role of the state. It also asks whether these new proposals further an individualist and consumerist approach to meeting needs, thus undermining the collectivism and public service ethos that have been such an important part of the welfare state; or whether they will help disabled people to achieve the active citizenship which previous social policies have failed to deliver. The chapter therefore illustrates the changing role and nature of ‘evidence’ in the policy process described in Chapter Four, and extends some of the arguments on choice, consumerism, and citizenship set out in Chapters Sixteen and Eighteen.

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