Discrimination of People with Disabilities Act - Disability Essay Example

Discrimination of People with Disabilities The history of discrimination against people with disabilities has been very prevalent throughout the years - Discrimination of People with Disabilities Act introduction. People with disabilities were understood to be socially and physically isolated from people without disabilities during the colonization years, and many years to come after that. During the settling of the original colonies, people with disabilities could not be cared for and were sent back to England majority of the time. When the colonial towns increased however, houses were built for people with disabilities.

Several laws were passed in the United States in order to prevent people with disabilities from marrying and having children. By the late 1930’s, most of the United States had passed sterilization laws. This was part of the eugenics program, developed by Sir Francis Galton, in order to prevent the reproduction and multiplication of members of the population that considered to be carriers of defective genetic traits. This law was prevalent from the late 1930’s, until some time into the 1970’s, where more than 60,000 people with disabilities had been sterilized without their consent.

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Between 1935, and 1950, there were only a few policies put into place, the social security act, and the social security amendments (Bowman). While all this was taking place, the shift became apparent into the early 50’s . The country had fought a lot of wars, and this affected the shift of people’s recognition of people that had disabilities. For example, after the revolutionary war, congress helped states care for the disabled soldiers. Wars such as the civil war, World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War reflected changes in how people with disabilities were viewed.

Two major movement’s changed disability policy after WW II, the parent’s movement and the civil rights movement. “Public attitudes began to change when the definition of disability shifted from a medical model/functional limitation model, to a perspective that focused on environmental barriers that limit people with disabilities. ” (Murray). Because of this shift, 2 major parent organizations were established. The Association for Retarded Children, and the National Foundation for Cerebral Palsy. These organizations were created because parents wanted to begin to change policy and legislation in order to see their disabled child be educated.

The Civil rights movements set the stage for policies to come for people with disabilities. (Bowman). The 1960’s, and well into the 1970’s was a turning point in American Disability policy. The Kennedy Administration was established in 1963 in efforts to increase community services for people with mental retardation. This began the efforts of Medicare, Medicaid, and the architectural barriers act, which is mandated that federal constructed building be accessible to people with physical disabilities.

The previous civil rights acts that had been established previously had a lot to do with the three most important disability policies that emerged during the 1970’s. The Rehabilitation Act was established in 1973, and is believed to be the greatest achievement of the disability rights movement. This prohibited programs receiving federal funds from discriminating against people with disabilities. (Murray). Another policy that was implemented around this time was the Education for all Handicapped Children Act. This was put to action because of two major court cases that excluded children with disabilities from attending public schools.

The result was that this policy established the right of children with disabilities to a public school education in an integrated or least restrictive environment (Bowman). The 1960’s and 70’s were such prevalent times in regards to people with disabilities because policies were first formulated. Throughout the late 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, they had the groundwork of the policies, and it was a time of improving and complimenting those policies. In 1976, the White House held a Conference on handicapped individuals.

This brought together more than 3,000 people and was a time where many pieces of legislation were brought together, and it also served as a catalyst for grassroots disability rights organizing (Murray). There were several different amendments and reauthorizations through the 80’s, and into the 90’s. Some of these amendments included The Vocational Rehabilitation Act, The Developmental Disabilities Act, The National Affordable Housing Act, and IDEA, which are the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The Americans with Disabilities Act, also known as, ADA, is also another act that was legislated in the 90’s and is still very prevalent today. This was enacted by Congress in 1990, and signed into law on July 26, 1990, by George H. W. Bush. “This act prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities, and guarantees equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodations, state and local government services, and telecommunications. There are 5 different titles to the ADA, which include, employment, public entities, public accommodations, telecommunications, and miscellaneous provisions.

“The ADA covers employers with 15 or more employees, and this includes state and local governments (Bowman). On September 25, 2008, President W Bush went on to sign the ADA of 2008 into the law. This law was signed in order to give broader protections for disabled workers and to lessen the strictness of Congress (Bowman). Because of the increase of acceptance of people with disabilities, most people are in favor of the ADA. There are distinct advantages and disadvantages of the act, however, throughout the years there has been much work in improvement. One advantage of the ADA is that it opens doors to employment for disabled Americans.

This act makes it possible for disabled people to function in a work environment just like any other person would. It makes this possible by including wheelchair ramps to entrances and exits of buildings, handicap accessible restrooms, etc. Another advantage that this act holds is that there are different ways of communications put in place. For example, the ADA requires that all public service announcement have close captioning, which is necessary for deaf viewers. Some disadvantages that have been argued is that the conditions for being deemed disabled are too lose.

This allows people who are not as significantly disabled to receive many of the same benefits that those who are more severely disabled receive. Another disadvantage that is possible is that it can be very costly to the business. Materials, tools, and structures tailored to meet the needs of disabled persons can often be more costly than the standard model of things (Mack). Some Christian churches had a lot to say about the act as well. For example, the Association of Christian Schools International, opposed the ADA when it was first signed in 1990.

They opposed this because the ADA labeled religious institutions “public accommodations”, and they would have required churches to make structural changes, which would be very costly. This resulted in the ADA preventing churches to be labeled as “public accommodations”, and so the churches were permitted to remain inaccessible if they chose to do so. Kentucky Republican Senate nominee, Rand Paul, discussed another disadvantage. His stance was that “requiring business owners to accommodate people with disabilities is an unfair burden to place on them.

He also claimed that, “people with disabilities have been pushed even further out of the workplace by it because employers are reluctant to open themselves—by hiring people with disabilities—to lawsuits or expensive legal requirements under the ADA. ” This caused controversy and Andy Imparato of the American Association of People with Disabilities held an opposing view. He said, “ Because of the ADA, the built environment, the transportation and telecommunications infrastructure are all better. People are able to stay in their homes [rather than being institutionalized] longer. We as a society expect more for people with disabilities.

Disability is now a positive differentiator. You can’t legislate disability identity and pride, but the ADA, and the civil-rights movement around it, have taught young people with disabilities to keep their expectations high (Adler). Although there are some controversies over the American Disability Act, there has been much improvement to it. Going from a time where people with disabilities weren’t even viewed as humans, to now a time where people are fighting for their rights, is incredible. The act allows the rights of those with disabilities to be heard and acted on. References Bowman, L. (2011).

Americans with disabilities act as amended: Principles and practice. New Directions For Adult & Continuing Education, (132), 85-95. doi:10. 1002/ace. 434. Murray, N. (2003). “Historical Overview of Disability Policy. ” Wheelchair Net: Advocacy, Empowerment & Independent Living. Retrieved From Adler, Ben. (2010). “Did the Americans With Disabilities Act Hurt Some People With Disabilities? ” The Daily Beast. Newsweek/Daily Beast. Retrieved from Mack, John. “Pros & Cons of the American Disability Act. ” EHow. Demand Media. RetAct. ” Facts About the Americans with Disabilities Act. Retrieved from

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