By William Boyce
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Extra info for A Seat at the Table: Persons with Disabilities and Policy Making
Instrumental participation is often associated with interest group theories of policy making. 24 A Seat at the Table When participation is understood as an end in itself, the term "transformational participation" is used. It indicates a long-term process intended to develop and strengthen people's capabilities to involve themselves in social development. Participation in this sense promotes ideological and normative goals such as social justice, equity, and democracy (Pitkin 1969). In the policy arena, transformational participation includes activities designed to build organizational reputations and develop capacities to become permanent partners in the policymaking process.
For the most part, advocacy groups and citizens' groups were yet to make their appearance on the constitutional scene. Constitutional experts, and scholars studying the process of policy participation, tended to focus on intergovernmental negotiations, separate federal and provincial political initiatives, and questions concerning the legal status of various proposals. For example, according to Russell, during the mid to late 19705, Aboriginal rights were not generally thought to be part of the constitutional agenda, nor were rights for people with disabilities.
There are doubts as to whether this definition is appropriate to represent family member participation, or the participation of able-bodied advocates for persons with disabilities. THEORIES OF PARTICIPATION Virtually every field that has attempted to involve community members in organized public activities has contributed to the knowledge base of citizen participation. There is an extensive literature in this area encompassing the disciplines of sociology, political science, management, psychology, health, social work, and environmental studies, among others.