Solidarity Against Disability Discrimination

Solidarity Against Disability Discrimination (SADD) works for disability liberation. 
Our goal is to end the discrimination and exclusion of people with disabilities.

SADD believes that a person shouldn’t be judged by one’s productivity or efficiency.  We fight for a society that respects diversity, not conformity. We fight for a society that centers and values people, not profit. 

SADD remembers and honors the people who made the history of disability rights struggle. Our movement has many martyrs who led the fierce struggle against the society that made them poor, voiceless, and invisible. When they were demanding the basic rights to mobility, education, labor, and autonomy, they were fighting against the very real violence in their own lives. The lives and the spirits of the martyrs are still present in our continuous struggle. 

Our solidarity extends to everyone who fights to end the injustices of this world. The ableism in our society is deeply connected to the structural oppressions which feminist, labor, environmental, anti-war movements are fighting against. SADD stands in solidarity with all those who dream of a better world where everyone is given the freedom, dignity, and security we all deserve. 


It wasn't until the 1988 Seoul Olympics that a progressive disability movement began to emerge in South Korea. Prior to that, in 1984, a man with an intellectual disability committed suicide, leaving a note asking for accessible sidewalk for wheelchair users in Seoul. This was the beginning of the accessibility movement in Korea, but even after decades, lots of roads in Seoul remain inaccessible.

In 2001, a wheelchair user fell to his death while taking a lift at a subway station near Seoul. The lift was unsafe, without any shock absorber installed in case of an accident, and it was in poor shape due to the lack of any maintenance standards. 

Similar tragedies were repeated, but no one was held accountable. People with disabilities were outraged and took to the streets. The Solidarity Committee of the Disabled to Obtain the Mobility Right (SDOMOR) chained themselves to the subway tracks in protest. They demanded the government to guarantee the mobility rights of people with disabilities. They blocked buses in the streets and climbed on top of them. The protests weren’t short-term, and they birthed an organized disability rights movement in Korea. What SDOMOR achieved through their protests brought meaningful changes in Korea for the people with disabilities; the first wheelchair-accessible buses and taxis were introduced. 

The next chapter of the disability rights movement was focused on introducing the Personal Assistance Services (PAS) for the people with disabilities. The Korean government opposed the establishment of the PAS for financial reasons. SDOMOR crawled across the Han River Bridge as a protest because the PAS is crucial for independence and survival for the persons with disabilities.

The activists have resisted the society’s patronizing gaze at the disabled people, filled with pity and sympathy. The disability rights movement has shown the world that people with disabilities are political beings with civil rights, one’s own agency, and dignity. 

In 2007, SADD, a coalition of progressive disability movements, was formed. 

SADD aims to abolish the three oppressive institutions against the poor and the disabled: the disability rating system, the family support obligation rules, and the institutionalization of the disabled. SADD takes non-violent direct actions and demands legislation of laws including, but not limited to, ‘Act on Guarantee of Rights for Persons with Disabilities’. SADD works to further the disabled people’s rights to mobility, labor, and independent living. 

Solidarity Against Disability Discrimination

E-Mail.   |   T. +82-2-739-1420

(03086) 5F, 25, Dongsung-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Rep. Korea

Copyright ⓒ 2007-2022 Solidarity Against Disability Discrimination All rights reserved.

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