“Disability has functioned historically to justify inequality for disabled people themselves, but it has also done so for women and minority groups. That is, not only has it been considered justifiable to treat disabled people unusually, but the concept of disability has been used to justify discrimination against other groups by attributing disability to them. Disability was a significant factor in the three great citizenship debates of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: women’s suffrage, African American freedom and civil rights, and the restriction of immigration.”
Baynton, D. C. (2001), “Disability and the Justification of Inequality in American History,” In Longmore, P.K. & Umansky, L. (Eds.) The New Disability History: American Perspectives, New York University Press.