Rights for the Disabled BY: Drew Jungbuth

Disabled rights is a serious problem in the United States today. Studies show that 70% of excluded kids in school are disabled, 60% of people in local jails have some kind of mental disability, and just under half of people who are disabled only make $15,000 a year or worse. (Disability Rights | American Civil Liberties Union) It is important we stand up for these people because America is supposed to stand for equal rights and historically and currently we have not and do not. Why should you see someone as less equal just because they look or think different than you? It is also proven that, “Children with disabilities, in particular, have a higher risk of being abused or neglected.”(Disability Justice) Clearly, if people are being abused and harmed just because they have a disability that is a problem on our society, and it is something that deserves our attention and effort. All of these things make this topic a civil rights issue. Overall, it is morally wrong and constitutionally inappropriate to label disabled people like this and limit them like this.


This problem is a Civil Rights issue very much like when the Blacks were segregated in the twentieth century. In both cases these groups of people suffer and suffered immensely. “One-in-five workers (22 percent) with disabilities reported their employer doesn’t provide necessities to enable them to access facilities. Even more (29 percent) said their employers don’t provide accommodations or necessities that enable them to successfully perform and execute on their responsibilities.” These facts clearly state how disabled people aren’t given the same chance as us and they are horribly mistreated at work and everywhere else. If disabled people aren’t given what they needed to cope with their disability then they are certainly in need of basic civil rights. Blacks were mistreated just as badly during the Civil Rights era. Many people died in the movement to get blacks their own civil rights. “The martyrs include activists who were targeted for death because of their civil rights work; random victims of vigilantes determined to halt the movement; and individuals who, in the sacrifice of their own lives, brought new awareness to the struggle.”(Civil Rights Martyrs) People died for the cause of giving blacks their rights and it is obvious they should not have had to. This is why the two causes are very similar, people in both cases are harmed just trying to help people get rights. Therefore, since the disabled and the blacks are and were suffering, there cases are very similar.


However they are and were very different fights for civil liberties as well. Today the people in America with disabilities are greatly harmed, but they still are given more than the blacks were when they were fighting for freedom. “Throughout the 1960's, bus riding Freedom Riders, marchers, boycotters and other protesters continued their crusade for freedom and were met with fierce white and establishment resistance. Riots, bombings, beatings and shootings were common as growing thousands of civil rights protesters marched throughout the South and in many cases the North as well. Ku Klux Klan members and other whites who believed in white supremacy spread terror all through the South.” (1960's Civil Rights Movement History) This clearly shows how people in the Civil Rights movement back then actually suffered consequences like death. The disabled do not get killed in riots like they did. “Almost 5,000 disabled adults – across 106 councils – have been sexually abused in England in the past two years, new figures show.” (The guardian) Even though there is no question it is horrible that the disabled are sexually assaulted, which is life changing, it is clear this is not as bad as being killed and having your life ended. Therefore these cases were different in the way the disabled are harmed less than the protesting blacks were.


It is clear that the fight for disabled rights and Civil RIghts movement were similar and different. However, this does not matter as much because we should help the suffering disabled people of our country no matter which was worse. One way to do this is over social media, which provides a very large voice to the nation and the globe. “In the disabled and long term-sick, social media has found a section of society simultaneously targeted and excluded from mainstream politics. In social media, disabled people have found themselves a voice.” (NewStatesman) So, if you care about this topic you should reach out over social media just like many successful disabled protesters. An organization that is good to help is the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The following is their mission statement: “For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and the laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.”(About the ACLU) This would be a good place to donate and a good place to sand with. They are doing good and supporting all kinds of civil rights. In conclusion, those are some places you can stand up for the important issue of disabled rights.


"1960's Civil Rights Movement." 1960's Civil Rights Movement History | Jim Crow Laws | Martin Luther King Jr. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

"Abuse and Exploitation of People with Developmental Disabilities." Disability Justice. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2017. <http://disabilityjustice.org/justice-denied/abuse-and-exploitation/>.

"Civil Rights Martyrs." Southern Poverty Law Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

"Disability Rights - ACLU Position/Briefing Paper." American Civil Liberties Union. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2017.

"Four-in-Ten Workers with Disabilities Have Experienced Discrimination or Unfair Treatment at Work, CareerBuilder.com and Kelly Services Survey Shows." Four-in-Ten Workers with Disabilities Have Experienced Discrimination or Unfair Treatment at Work, CareerBuilder.com and Kelly Services Survey Shows - CareerBuilder. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2017.

Ryan, Frances. "The Abuse of Disabled People Is a Hidden Crime We Must Face up to | Frances Ryan." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 18 May 2015. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

"Social Media Means the Voices of the Disabled Can No Longer Be Ignored by Those in Power." Social Media Means the Voices of the Disabled Can No Longer Be Ignored by Those in Power. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2017. <http://www.newstatesman.com/2014/07/social-media-means-voices-disabled-can-no-longer-be-ignored-those-power>.

"When the Disabled Were Segregated." When the Disabled Were Segregated. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2017.



Created with images by pasa47 - "Civil Rights are Non-Negotiable" • Anna's Photos - "Disabled Parking Only"

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