Rights of the Disabled and Mentally Ill

"People with disabilities are the poorest, least employed, and least educated minority in America. At the end of 1995, it was estimated that one out of five people in the U.S. had some level of disability, one of ten, severe. Too often, people with disabilities have been treated as second class citizens, shunned and segregated by physical barriers and social stereotypes. They have been discriminated against in employment, schools, and housing, robbed of their personal autonomy, and too often, hidden away and forgotten by the larger society. By and large, people with disabilities continue to be excluded from the American dream."

I think this is a summary lead because it states most of the information that proceeds the article. It lists who, what, where, why, this article was written. It also states the opinions of what the writer feels about these topics.

Many people in the earlier 1900's were horrible to people that were disabled or mentally ill. As times have gone on we have gotten better about treating them like we treat each other. It is good that we all agree that today these people should be treated right, however, it makes us work slower to improve these goals we have further.

This is also a summary lead because it is short and describes how these problems involve every person in the world. It gives you a "summary" of what will happen in the following piece.

WHO: This article is about all people around the world. It specifically focuses on ages 16-64. In some parts of it, the reader learns about how to make a difference, and follow what people have done in the passed, for the better. Congress is mentioned in it and how they have helped/hurt people who are disabled or mentally ill. As a world we all seem to agree that these people deserve the same rights, but this just makes us nod to say we agree.

WHAT: 2/3 of Americans with disabilities between ages 16-64 were unemployed, a 1994 Harris poll revealed that 79% of these people wanted a job. This is horribly sad because it is saying that these people are either being told they can't have job, or they physically can not go to a job. In 1995, 9.6% of disabled people aged 16-74 had completed college. This percentage is not very high and I think that it could be raised with hard work. According to a 1995 census data, people between ages 22-64 who lived in poverty was 13.3%, but among the disabled was 19.3%, and among the severely disabled was 42.4%. This is sad because almost half of this group are severely disabled. If we worked together not only as a country, but as a worked, we could try to help these people and possibly bring these numbers down. At the end of 1995 there was an estimated 1/5 people with some level of disability and 1/10 had severe disability. People with disabilities are sadly, the poorest, least employed, and the least educated. Later on, people with disabilities and their advocates have won other important legal victories. The ACLU has helped individuals claim their rights.

WHERE: Treating the mentally ill disabled badly/differently goes on all over the world. There have been some horrible examples in Hawaii and New York for example. Sadly, this is a big issue in our world today and it happens constantly and everywhere. It happens in schools, jobs and in communities.

WHEN: The correlation between disability and poverty worsens with age. The older you are, the worse it gets. This has been going on for many years.

WHY: Unfortunately, too often they are treated as a second class citizen, shunned and segregated by social stereotypes. In 1927 the U.S Supreme Court said horrible things about mental disabilities and they said we should prevent them from continuing. This shows why we need to find ways to teach everyone about them and help out people.

HOW: In the U.S.A we have a shameful history of cutting of people with disabilities from the rest of society by sequestering them to their homes. In Hawaii thousands of people with leprosy were permanently sent to isolated islands, away from family, this went into the 1950's. In 1972 the nation was shocked by film footage of a filthy dehumanizing conditions endured by 5400 mentally disabled children at Willobrook "School" in New York. Finally, in 1960, disability advocates began to press for full legal equality access to mainstream society. Through lobbying and litigation, laws were passed and rights established; public education and advocacy were used to promote reason and inclusiveness rather than fear and pity. Equity in education, housing and civic life were boosted by the individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1975. James Bradley Quinn said through an American Sign Language interpreter, "The deaf and hard-of-hearing should never accept limitations on their goals."

CONCLUSION: "But in spite of much progress, people with mental disabilities still face abuse, coercion, and discrimination based on stereotypes and misconceptions."

MY CONCLUSION: In conclusion, people with disabilities or mental illness should be treated with dignity and equality. They deserve as many freedoms as anyone else. We need to work together to stop this completely. We have come a long way, but need to reach even higher goals.

"Disability Rights- ACLU Position/Briefing paper." Aclu.org, ACLU, 1999,www.aclu.org/other/disability-rights-aclu-positionbriefing-paper.

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