Civil Rights for Disabled Citizens By: Alyce Smith

People with disabilities are discriminated against in the job field today and are treated unfairly continuously by people who don’t struggle with a disease. Many people with disabilities are denied jobs and opportunities because of the way that they look and act. In the United States,”Only 34 percent of working age citizens with disabilities are employed...compared to 75 percent of non disabled working peers.”(LLC, Midwest New Media). Freedom is being taken away from people with disabilities because less than half of the disabled population are employed because the country looks down on people with disabilities. All Americans are given rights that allow equality in the country, but disabled citizens are deprived of equality because they are unemployed because of the way they look and act, which is not civil. Today,”One in five workers(22%) with disabilities reported their employer doesn’t provide them necessities to enable them to access facilities.”(About Career Builder). Americans purposely act against those who are disabled and make it harder for them to do their best work because many business owners conclude that people with disabilities are incapable of work. Overall, disabled citizens are treated unfairly in the country which goes against many of the natural rights that all citizens, no matter the circumstances, have.

The separation in society because of apperance.

People with disabilities are treated very similarly as Freedmen were treated in the society and workforce during Reconstruction. During the time period of Reconstruction in the United States, Freedmen were denied job opportunities because they were black. It was stated that,”no persons of any race other than white Caucasian race shall own, use or occupy any building.”(Separate Is Not Equal). Freedmen were denied access to work because of their skin color, which takes away the civil rights that they had as citizens to be treated equal to the white citizens. The Freedmen had no power and were discriminated against by the white citizens who took control of the way of life. Correspondingly, disabled citizens currently are treated with disrespect by a higher power in society of people who don’t struggle with a disability. A current issue occurred when,”Wal-Mart refused to hire Steve Bradley who has cerebral palsy and uses crutches or a wheelchair as mobility.”(Disability Discrimination). Because of the way the man looked, and the fact that he used a wheelchair, made it instant that he was unable of performing work necessary. The actions go against the Constitution because all people of the United States are equal, and denying someone a job because they look a certain way is against the fact that all men are created equal. This issue directly relates to the Reconstruction era because just as black people were denied equality for the way that they looked, disabled citizens are denied equality because of the way that they look. Both disabled and black citizens serve a purpose, and even if they look different, they are able to perform just as well, or better than people of the regular race and state. Overall, both the Freedmen and disabled citizens are very similar because of the actions received in society due to looks and actions.

Segregation because of skin color.
Denying the right to be treated equal as American citizens.

Although disabled citizens today are very similar to the Freedmen during Reconstruction, there are many differences that separate the Freedmen and the disabled citizens from being similar. During Reconstruction, many boycotts were created to demand equality for all black citizens. During a boycott called the Freedom Riders,”an angry mob of about 200 white people surrounded the bus...someone threw a bomb into the bus...burst into flames..many were beaten brutally.”(Freedom Rides). The bombings and brutal beatings of black men and women by the white people were in attempt to kill out the population of black people. The difference in color that the black people added to society angered all white people, and they wanted them all killed. On the contrary,”people with disabilities have been regarded as individuals to be pitied, feared, or ignored.”(Disability Awareness Information). People with disabilities are looked down upon in society and are not treated with violence or anger, but with compassion and sympathy. Most all people who appear to be physically or mentally disabled are ignored and treated as youth because of they way that they look, and people don’t want to interact with others who appear to be different. Overall, because of the major differences that occur between the treatment of the Freedmen and the disabled citizens, the two are very different.

Citizens risking their lives to be treated equal.

It is important that the future changes for disabled citizens and the way that they are treated to ensure that they live an equal lifestyle in the United States. There are many organizations that help the disabled with job opportunities such as the,”YAI which supports people of all ages with intellectual and developmental disabilities in achieving the fullest life possible.”(Stafford, David). The YAI provides opportunities for people with disabilities to have a job that allows them to be incorporated into society. Many organizations focus on,”abilities and finding solutions for any barrier to employment.”(The PWI Difference). The organizations, like the YAI, focus on making life more enjoyable for the disabled and providing jobs for those who are rejected by the way that they look and act. Everyday citizens have a large impact on providing jobs for the disabled by donating to the YAI website to help fund job opportunities, and providing acceptance. Accepting people by who they are and seeing beyond their appearance will ultimately decrease the amount of disabled homelessness and poverty in the United States. Disabled citizens deserve to be treated with respect, and the future must change to give all disabled citizens equal rights and job opportunities, no matter how they look or how they act, because everyone is equal.

Marching and protesting to end disability discrimination in the United States.

Works Cited

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"What's Wrong Wednesday: Disability Discrimination Has Increased." Freedom Resource Center. N.p., 11 May 2016. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.


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