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DOI 10.12887/30-2017-4-120-12



Natalia BARTNIK – Alleviating the Pain of Disability: On the Vocational Situation of Physically Disabled Persons in Poland between 1944 and 1970


Cena brutto: 7,00 PLN za szt.

The article discusses the legal and occupational issues of physically disabled people in the post-war period in Poland, up till 1970. The increase in the number of disabled people—including civilians—caused the state authority to provide the citizens with appropriate rehabilitation conditions. It was necessary to either introduce or amend the legislation concerning people with disabilities and, as a result, to provide them with an appropriate place in the society. The available sources show that the state government was trying to employ the concept of productivization to make it possible for disabled people to work. The term ‘productivization,’ referring to physically disabled people, was quickly replaced by the phrase ‘vocational rehabilitation.’ It referred to the entire process of offering vocational advice to the disabled and providing them with employment, as well as with health care during the work. All those elements were controlled by the communist authorities and they evolved over the described period. Apart from special workplaces for the disabled there were also their cooperatives functioning at that time. They were affiliated with a nationwide organization whose name changed over the years. Cooperatives of the disabled were organized so as to provide their employees with the appropriate form and conditions of labor, as well as with special social and living facilities. Cooperatives also enabled easy access of the disabled to medical centers and provided rehabilitation opportunities. The article also mentions the establishment of the Association for Fighting against Disability (Towarzystwo do Spraw Walki z Kalectwem) in 1960. All those elements contributed to the creation of the Polish Model of Rehabilitation, which, in 1970, was recognized by the World Health Organization as worthy of recommendation.

Keywords: vocational rehabilitation, Cooperative of the Disabled, Polish Model of Rehabilitation, physical disability, the process of stating disabilities

Contact: Katedra Historii i Historiografii Europy Wschodniej, Instytut Historii, Wydział Nauk Humanistycznych,
Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II,
Al. Racławickie 14, 20-950 Lublin, Poland
E-mail: nataliabartnik@op.pl
Phone: +48 81 4454435



Pliki do pobrania:

» 120_Bartnik.pdf


  1. ISSN 0860-8024
  2. The Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education Value: 20.00
  3. Quarterly “Ethos” is indexed by the following databases: EBSCO, CEEOL, Index Copernicus (ICV 2017: 55.26), Philosopher’s Index, ERIH Plus.
  4. DOI Prefix 10.12887