Eso Akunne Key Paragraph 3/15/12

pg.18  Projects of the American Disability Rights Movement

At the time the disability rights movement began to form in the 1970’s, America’s prevalent approach to disability focused on medical treatment, physical rehabilitation, charity, and public assistance. The social model is best seen as a reaction to/that “medical/pathological paradigm” of disability. Activist with disabilities believed the dominant approach inappropriate because it treated disability as a medical/pathological paradigm of disability. Activist with disabilities believed the dominant approach inappropriate because it treated disability as an inherent personal characteristic that should ideally be fixed, rather than a characteristic that draws its meaning from social context. Such a view, activist believed, encourages dependence on doctors, rehabilitation professionals, and charity. It also stigmatizes people with disabilities, by defining them as as something less than normal, and it directs them into confining social roles in which they can enter society only “on the terms of the able-bodied majority”.

I chose this paragraph because of its topic that it is addressing. Activist feel that the “disabled” are either purposefully or unintentionally discriminated due to the way the government treats them. Their discrimination in the activist eyes are along the same lines as the civil rights law discrimination, and they believe the 14th amendment applies to the disabled as a result of the social construct. I feel are society is mostly made for people with full or “normal” capabilities, being with how buildings are made, staircases are put, and the lack of elevators for the disabled. The fact that we as a society don’t consider them normal is a problem, but not as bad as in the past. The activist were fighting for a change in peoples perception in the disabled, and that we should look at them as normal people, but at the same time we needed to make special accommadations for them and recognize them as different. So I felt there point was true and optimistic but not quite realistic

My question is, are they really that different or should their accommodation always be thought of in advance and in accordance with other people at all times? Also is the discrimination felt by the disabled akin to racial discrimination in some cases?

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2 Responses to Eso Akunne Key Paragraph 3/15/12

  1. That is an interesting view that they hold. Firstly i would say that they in my opinion are not viewed incorrectly by society. Being disabled is a limiting factor, they simply cannot do things that most of us “able-bodied” people can. The aim of medical research should be to cure them, not cause social change that allows them to be viewed as the same as everyone else only that they need special exceptions. That would be a direct paradox, ” we are the same as you, just different” does not float in my book. Seriously feeling that you need to be not discriminated against and comparing yourselves to the direct racial laws that came about in the 60’s is a gross exaggeration. And with people like this who sue for a living it gets hard to view their plight in an overly sympathetic way.

    If i had to choose between shaping infrastructure to accommodate handicapped people of all different forms or simply cure them i would cure them. I am not saying toss out ramps and railings, but saying that you are widely discriminated against and that people need to view you differently is a rather large order. And beyond that regardless of what laws say people will always in the back of their minds discriminate it is our nature. A few activists will not change that.

  2. newbieblogster13 says:

    This is a very tough question to be asked because there are so many different views and ways people think of the disabled. I agree with you that all people should be treated equal and allowed the same rights and access and so building and places should accommodate for the handicap-able but that brings up the question of making them special. They are acknowledged their rights to go where they want but only with accommodations and most other people don’t get that accommodation. This can be viewed as “special” treatment when it is only really allowing other people their basic rights. Also, there is a large split between the disabled community as I’ve seen it. Many ask to be treated just the same as everyone else to be seen as “normal” but the other half have used their disabilities to coax other people into treating them more special and use it as a way to get things they want or make others feel bad. For example, people accidentally bump into people all the time, however, many times when the other person is disabled, they use it as a factor to increase the severity of the other’s offense; they almost make it seem as if they nearly killed a person. Wanting to be treated as equal is great and all but it can’t start until the community itself sees itself as equal as well. If themselves use their condition for special treatment, then this “normality” can not be achieved.

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