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Inequality of Disabled Americans
According the the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (U.S. Dept. of Justice 1999) a person with a disability has significant impairment in a major life function, this may be mental or physical. There are many different types of disabilities and are the result of many different causes such as chronic diseases, developmental disorders, and injuries. For this page we are narrowing our topic down to physical disabilities. This encompasses a wide variety of disabilities and often the lines between physical and mental disabilities are hard to draw. Some Americans are both physically and mentally disabled by the same or separate causes. Some people are born with a disability but it is important to remember that anyone in his or pornhub can experience disability.



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Ableism describes the system of discrimination and exclusion of people who have disabilities. This is a form of oppression which advantages able-bodied people and disadvantages people with disabilities. A more accurate term for people who are not living with disabilities which is gaining popularity is temporarily able-bodied because it highlights that anyone may gain disability status throughout their life time due to illness or injury (Castaneda et al).


Some ways that persons with a disability can be disadvantaged through ableism are by being stigmatized, being treated differently than other people because they have a disability, being disadvantaged in the workforce, and by being overlooked by institutions so that their specific needs are ignored.




Some History


In the past people with disabilities have experiences severe mistreatment. According to Castaneda et al disability before the 18th century was considered to be a result of sin and children with disabilities were often victims of infanticide or completely abandoned by their families. Many people with disabilities in the past were placed in jails or asylums or made their living performing in "freak shows". During the early 19th century people with disabilities were often administered unnecessarily invasive medical procedures to "fix them" or medically sterilized in hopes that they would not create more disabled children. During World War II the Nazi's murdered thousands of people with disabilities based on the same reasoning.

With the return of many disabled veterans from World War II the medical field shifted to a focus on rehabilitation rather than placing them in asylums or hospitals. The 60's and 70's saw a social movement called the Independent Living Movement which in time resulted in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the ADA in 1990 which we discuss in more detail below (Castaneda et al 2010).

After the passage of the Rehabilitation Act disabled persons are considered to have minority status in America. Some people living with disabilities consider themselves part of a disabled culture or community. For example with expanded use of American Sign Language (ASL) a distinct deaf subculture developed in the U.S.





















This video is an example of Independent Living Movement activism in the United States.

Stigma

Stigma is created from society labeling groups that are considered to be different and associating negative qualities with the groups. Stigma results in the group being treated differently than other members of society and being discriminated against. The figure below demonstrates how stigma is created.


external image rJXhT5Evs0OZm2aFImZDwuVX1IqCwhdzdJkEemPxICRqg_ISixEsdLeF4sW6QkBT2-dTDznG_QyBGarGP8O2sjc1xhir7x5mjNCJekippxCD1_q6ew
Kring, et al 2010.

Based on this model, the stigmatization of physically disabled Americans begins with the application of the distinguishing label, “disabled”. Some undesirable qualities that are often attributed to disabled individuals is that they are...
-helpless
-a burden to their families
-sick
-needy
-not capable of being sexually active
-freakish
-outcasts
-incapable of doing everyday activities

Once the heavily stereotyped label of “disabled” is placed on a person they are seen as different enough to be categorized in a different social group (able-bodied vs. disabled). People classified by society into the disabled group are then discriminated against in a variety of social situations. These stereotypes may also be internalized. As demonstrated in Steele’s article “Threat in the Air”, stereotypes held by society can have a very real negative effect on an individual. His article mainly deals with the stereotypes society holds about African Americans and women being less intellectually capable than white men correlate with less academic success from African Americans and women. This means that stereotypes held by society hold a real threat towards the way an individual views him or herself. A person with a disability may internalize these stereotypes and have a more negative self image or have underlying beliefs that they are less capable.



Examples of stigma:

The British short film “__Talk__” was created by Disability Rights Commission. The film presents a new perspective in which to view disability.





The effects of discriminatory behavior are highlighted in this video. The main character experiences:
-others offering to help him
-others saying they can relate because they had a friend or cousin like him
-others questioning if he should be in public without a helper
-not being permitted to use public transportation or front entrances
-others saying his is so brave
-his date asking if people like him could have sex
-and many more.

Some of these acts of discrimination seem to have the best intentions like commending a person for being brave. These statements are stereotyping the person’s life experiences rather than acknowledging that the person is a unique individual.

Education

Students with disabilities are classified as SEN, (Special Education Needs). From the moment a person with a disability enters the school system, they are already labeled as different. “Applying school stratification arguments to special education structures, they (1) socialize into the lowest levels of educational hierarchies, (2) allocate into categories with lower attainment probabilities, and (3) legitimize inequalities, especially through medical model classification systems and professionalized, bureaucratic special education programs that usually separate or segregate classified students” (Powell). When students are labeled and categorized into groups, it affects their mindset. They may feel that they lack self worth, it may lower their aspirations, and it may even lower their self-esteem.

"Stigmatized individuals may invest heavily in a variety of psychological and behavioral coping strategies to counteract lowered self-efficacy and self-esteem. Students' perceived self-efficacy, not their actual academic performance, is the key determinant of their perceived occupational self-efficacy and aspirations" (Bandura et al 2001). Most Americans have high aspirations for there future. They are given the opportunity to attain an education and even a post secondary education if they choose. Physically disabled Americans are no different when it comes to future aspirations, however, it is not as easy to attain. Despite the laws that are being passed to close the gap in disabled inequality, it is still a major problem. Physically disabled Americans not only have to face challenges of getting around and learning with a disability, they have to deal with constantly being picked on and scrutinized for their disability. They are hardly ever thought of as just themselves; they are the person with a disability. Most Americans put a label on disabled people and the label is next to impossible to remove once attached. Only slight imagination is needed to depict the long term significances of special education institutions, their grouping of students, and subsequent stigmatization and institutional discrimination (Powell). The disabling societies in which we live are extensions of the inequalities from school that people have experienced. Although people in society are still experiencing inequality, the government is trying year after year to continually enact laws and policies to reduce discrimination and inequality. One such law that was passed was The Individual with Disabilities Education Act, (IDEA). This law was singed into action in 2004 and under it every American child from birth to age twenty-one, has the right to receive a free appropriate public education, (FAPE), regardless of ability (IDEA, 2004). As of 2006, more than six million children receive special education services in the United State through IDEA.



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NOTE: Respondents who reported any type of disability related to blindness, deafness, a severe vision or hearing impairment, substantial limitation of mobility, or any other physical, mental, or emotional condition that lasted 6 months or more are classified as "with disability."
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, 2008.


Statistics and Background Information


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This graph shows that once a person reaches high school their chances of gaining a disability decreases with higher levels of education. The low disability in those with less than a high school education is likely does to younger children.
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According to these statistics, disabilities rates are much higher in non- Hispanic whites in the U. S. Blacks are the second highest ethnicity suffering from disabilities. Non- Hispanic Asians are the least likely to suffer from a disability in America.



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This graph shows that people without disabilities are much more likely to hold employment than those with a disability. When a person in the U. S. suffers from a complex activity disability their chances of holding a job decrease greatly.
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Looking at the statistics on age and disabilities it becomes apparent that disability happens much less in the ages from 18- 44. There is also not a lot of difference between the amounts of people suffering from complex and basic disabilities.

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Examining the income of families in the U.S. shows that more money brings about less disability. There is little difference between the types of disability severity as well.




Americans with Disabilities Act
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Living within our society can be a difficult task, and for those that have disabilities can face especially hard challenges. There are however acts to protect many of these people, and to accommodate them as well as their challenges. While these laws do exist, there are still many problems that these people face within our society.
The American’s with Disabilities Act or ADA has been formed in order to better help individuals struggling with a disability. These laws are in place to better protect these individuals as well as to make their lives a little easier. Title 1 of the act protects individuals with disabilities who are seeking employment. The purpose here is to provide equal job opportunities for all, so that discrimination cannot occur in the form of pay, employment or things such as advancement within the company. At the same time, Title 1 says that employers must make reasonable accommodations for those with a mental or physical disability. There are several other Title’s included in this act, to cover a wide range of issues that a person with a disability may face every day. For example, included in this act, are regulations on architecture, meaning buildings must be made handicap accessible. At the same time, public transportation is also addressed, in that this too must be made accessible, and those running the transportation cannot discriminate against those with a disability. Lastly, telephone and television are also addressed in this act. With these, common carriers of each are required to establish telecommunications relay services to better assist individuals with hearing or speech disabilities. In total then, these laws are created in a way to help better assist those with disabilities while attempting to provide them with the same opportunities that the rest of us have every day.

Even with all of these protective laws to help people with disabilities, there are still many inequalities that they face. To begin, although many additional services are offered to people with disabilities, it can be difficult to access these, or inconvenient. Therefore, easy tasks for the majority of society can end up becoming grueling tasks for those with physical or mental impairments. At the same time, there is the issue of knowledge. For instance, the Fair Housing Act provides protection to people with disabilities in saying that people such as landlords must make accommodations in order to better allow people to live hassle free within housing units. However, even with this law, there is a lack of knowledge about it, and therefore often times, requirements are not followed in the manner in which they should be, resulting in inequality in housing for disabled. All and all then, inequality still exists, in the fact that it can be difficult to gain access to rights, file claims against those not abiding by these rights, as well as a lack of knowledge about these laws. Therefore, everyday things can still be difficult for those faced with a disability, and treatment of these people is still not the same as it is for the rest of us. However, with these acts focused on equality, I feel that we are taking steps in the right direction.


















Employment

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In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), was signed into law by President George Bush. According to the ADA, "Discrimination based on disability in employment is prohibited in state and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications" (A Guide...). Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the physically disabled are protected from discrimination in ALL employment practices, including: job application procedures, hiring, training, firing, payment, promotions, benefits, and leave. In order to be protected by the ADA, a person must have a disability, or be in a relationship or association with someone who has a disability (A Guide...). Places of employment, specifically public and commercial facilities, are required to make modifications to policies, practices, and procedures in order to avoid discrimination. Disabled Americans have the right to not be harrassed because of their disability and their employer is not allowed to fire or discipline the disabled employee for asserting his or her rights under the ADA.

Recently, the Americans with Disabilities Act was amended with the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 and became effective January 1, 2009. According to the ADA Amendments Act, "Historically, society has tended to isolate and segregate individuals with Disabilities, and, despite some improvements, such forms of discrimination against individuals with disabilities continue to be a serious and pervasive social problem (Act 2008). Until the aforementioned acts were passed into law, people with disabilities had no legal recourse to fight against discrimination. These acts were passed make sure there is equal opportunity for people with disabilities. Census data, national polls, and other studies have documented that people with disabilities are considered inferior in the American society, and are disadvantaged socially, vocationally, economically, and educationally (Act 2008). The purpose of the ADA is to ensure a national mandate to eliminate discrimination of disabled Americans.


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Disability Etiquette for the Workplace
  • Greet the person
  • Be polite and considerate
  • Offer assistance Don't shout
    • Accept the person's answer
    • Ask how a person wishes assistance

  • Don't ignore
  • Make eye contact
  • Speak clearly
  • Ask a person you cannot understand to repeat
  • Be aware and conscious of offering a seat
  • Treat the individual with dignity and respect

"When people are cast in subordinate roles or are assigned inferior labels, implying limited competence, they perform activities at which they are skilled less well than when they do not bear the negative labels or the subordinate role designations. Offering unnecessary help can also detract from a sense of competence and thereby vitiate the execution of skills" (Bandura, 1990). When a person uses good disability etiquette it will lower the chances of being discriminatory and ignorant.

Exhibit 4. Employment Ratios by StateImage is a map of employment ratios by state, states are groups into employment ratio quartiles with values of .36-.44, .45-.48, .49-.52, and .53-.65.States with the lowest employment ratios in the range of .36-.44:District of ColumbiaKentuckyMississippiWest VirginiaAlabamaSouth CarolinaTennesseeMaineMichiganDelawareFloridaMassachusettsNew YorkOhioStates with employment ratios in the range of .45-.48:ArkansasGeorgiaMissouriNorth CarolinaRhode IslandArizonaCaliforniaLouisianaPennsylvaniaIllinoisIndianaNew HampshireStates with employment ratios in the range of .49-.52:WisconsinHawaiiNew MexicoVirginiaIdahoOklahomaOregonTexasWashingtonConnecticutNew JerseySouth DakotaStates with the highest employment ratios in the range of .53-.65:VermontMarylandMinnesotaNebraskaNevadaKansasIowaUtahMontanaColoradoWyomingAlaskaNorth Dakota
Exhibit 4. Employment Ratios by StateImage is a map of employment ratios by state, states are groups into employment ratio quartiles with values of .36-.44, .45-.48, .49-.52, and .53-.65.States with the lowest employment ratios in the range of .36-.44:District of ColumbiaKentuckyMississippiWest VirginiaAlabamaSouth CarolinaTennesseeMaineMichiganDelawareFloridaMassachusettsNew YorkOhioStates with employment ratios in the range of .45-.48:ArkansasGeorgiaMissouriNorth CarolinaRhode IslandArizonaCaliforniaLouisianaPennsylvaniaIllinoisIndianaNew HampshireStates with employment ratios in the range of .49-.52:WisconsinHawaiiNew MexicoVirginiaIdahoOklahomaOregonTexasWashingtonConnecticutNew JerseySouth DakotaStates with the highest employment ratios in the range of .53-.65:VermontMarylandMinnesotaNebraskaNevadaKansasIowaUtahMontanaColoradoWyomingAlaskaNorth Dakota
Exhibit 4. Employment Ratios by StateImage is a map of employment ratios by state, states are groups into employment ratio quartiles with values of .36-.44, .45-.48, .49-.52, and .53-.65.States with the lowest employment ratios in the range of .36-.44:District of ColumbiaKentuckyMississippiWest VirginiaAlabamaSouth CarolinaTennesseeMaineMichiganDelawareFloridaMassachusettsNew YorkOhioStates with employment ratios in the range of .45-.48:ArkansasGeorgiaMissouriNorth CarolinaRhode IslandArizonaCaliforniaLouisianaPennsylvaniaIllinoisIndianaNew HampshireStates with employment ratios in the range of .49-.52:WisconsinHawaiiNew MexicoVirginiaIdahoOklahomaOregonTexasWashingtonConnecticutNew JerseySouth DakotaStates with the highest employment ratios in the range of .53-.65:VermontMarylandMinnesotaNebraskaNevadaKansasIowaUtahMontanaColoradoWyomingAlaskaNorth Dakota



Disability at the University of IowaIowa_hawkeyes_logo.jpg



The University of Iowa recognizes the needs of it's students whom have disabilities through Student Disability Services. The SDS website states that its mission is to "assure access through reasonable accommodations to qualified students who currently demonstrate a condition producing significant functional limitations in one or more major life activities." SDS provides support for students with disabilities so that they are provided with the same opportunities to academically succeed and participate in activities at the University as temporarily able-bodied students. A student can apply for different academic accommodations such as alternative exam services, alternative media services, and deaf/hard of hearing services.


Any event advertized by the University of Iowa is required to include the University's assessibility statement which reads, "Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact (sponsoring department or contact person) in advance at (telephone number)." Requests are then reviewed by the Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity and reasonable accommodations are made.



Solutions

Educating the public on disabilities can help destroy stereotypes and misinformation people hold about people with disabilities. Katherine Betts of the University of Iowa explained in her presentation on Breaking Barriers through Ending Ableism Oppression the benefits of society viewing disability through the Social Construct Model. In this model disability is recognized as part of diversity and acknowledges that the disability is a small part of an individuals whole identity. According to this model barriers in the environment can be either removed or created and it is proactive to for society to remove barriers in order to empower individuals.

Educating our public policy makers about disabilities is also important component of activism. The Equality Human Rights Commission states that a mutually beneficial relationship between lawmakers and advocates for equality can best be achieved by:
  • "treating disabled people as experts
  • continually involving them in informing policy decisions
  • involving them in projects outside the disability equality scheme action plan, such as training to facilitate their involvement, running training programs for staff and feeding in views on a wide range of organizational practice"



Additional Informational Links




Works Cited

Powell, Justin J.W. "Constructing Disability and Social Inequality Early in the Life Course: the Case of Special Education in Germany and the United States." Disability Studies Quarterly . Society for Disability Studies, 2003. Web. 7 Dec. 2011. < http://dsq-sds.org/article/view/414/575 >.

United States, Iowa. The Americans with Disabilites Act. The Americans with Disabilites Act . Iowa Client Assistance Program, 2007. Welcome to the Official State of Iowa Website . The Client Assistance Program Division of Persons with Disabilities Iowa Department of Human Rights, May 2001. Web. 18 Nov. 2011. < http://www.state.ia.us/government/dhr/pd/index.html >.

"A Guide to Disability Rights Laws." ADA Home Page - Ada.gov - Information and Technical Assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act . U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Disability Rights Section, Sept. 2005. Web. 8 Dec. 2011. < http://www.ada.gov/cguide.htm >.

Altman B, Bernstein A. Disability and health in the United States, 2001–2005. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2008.

Americans with Disabilities Act . Digital image. Key Vive . Aug. 2011. Web. < http://www.keyvive.com/featured-stories/the-americans-with-disabilities-act-what-it-is-what-it-means-and-why-it-matters-to-those-with-diabetes/ >.

Bandura, Albert, Claudio Barbaranelli, Gian Vittorio Caprara and Concetta Pastorelli. (2001) Self efficacy Beliefs as Shapers of Children's Aspirations and Career Trajectories. Child Development 72(1): 187 206.

Bandura, Albert. (1990) Reflections on Nonability Determinants of Competence . In: Sternberg, Robert J. and John Kolligian, Jr. (Eds) (1990) Competence Considered. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 315 347.

Building the Legacy: IDEA 2004 . U.S. Department of Education. Web. 6 Dec. 2011. < http://idea.ed.gov >.

"Disability Characteristics: 2008- 2010 American Community Survey 3 Year Estimates." American Fact Finder. U. S. Census Bureau, 2008. Web. 1 Dec. 2011. <http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pd=ACS_10_3YR_S1810>.

Field Distribution of Graduate Students, by Disability Status: 2008 . U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, 2008, Oct. 2010. PDF.

Altman B, Bernstein A. Disability and health in the United States, 2001–2005. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2008.

YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. It's Our Story Project, 11 July 2010. Web. 11 Dec. 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded>.

American Disabilities Act : ADA - YouTube. YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. Blue Ocean University, 4 May 2011. Web. 11 Dec. 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6P9kSqGVt4>.

Castaneda, Carmelita, Larissa E. Hopkins, and Madeline L. Peters. "Ableism." Readings for Diversity and Social Justice. London: Routledge, 2010. Print.

Steele, Claude M. "A Threat in the Air: How Stereotypes Shape Intellectual Identity and Performance." American Psychologist 52.6 (1997): 613-29. Print.

Kring, Ann M., Sheri L. Johnson, Gerald C. Davison, and John M. Neale. Abnormal Psychology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2010. Print.

Talk (part 1 of 2) - YouTube. YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. Web. 12 Dec. 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZfOVNwjFU0>.

"Talk (part 2 of 2) - YouTube." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. Web. 12 Dec. 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9a2ZqLhuAw>.

Using Your Revised Disability Equality Scheme to Improve the Lives of Disabled People. Equality Human Rights Commission. DOC.

U.S Department of Justice. September 2005. A Guide to Disability Rights Laws. Retrieved 11/19/11. http://www.ada.gov/cguide.htm.

Southwest ADA Center. Disability Law Handbook. Retrieved 11/19/11. http://www.swdbtac.org/ html/publications/dlh/publicaccommodations.html.

Pratt, Sarah. The Urban Institute Washington, DC. Discrimination. Retrieved 11/19/11. http://www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/library/dss-guidebook.pdf.

Hall, Robert T.. Department of Sociology, West Virginia State College, Institute, WV 25112. Disability: Equality/Inequality. Retrieved 11/19/11. http://www.ssdan.net/chip/
modules/hall/hall1.html.

Cizmar, Martin. January 29, 2010. Don’t Use “Disabled?” PC Profs Use ASU Film Fest to Lobby Against World. Retrieved 11/19/11. http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/uponsun
/2010/01/dont_use_disabled_pc_profs_use.php.

Dickson, Brandon. May 24, 2010. Watauga County DAV Keeping Busy. Retrieved 11/19/11. http://www.mtn18.com/latest_news/2010/05/watauga-county-dav-keeping-busy.html.
When people are cast in subordinate roles or are assigned inferior labels, implying limited competence, they perform activities at which they are skilled less well than when they do not bear the negative labels or the subordinate role designations. Offering unnecessary help can also detract from a sense of competence and thereby vitiate the execution of skills (1990: 315 347)https://sites.google.com/a/pinedafoundation.org/ios/home