How You Can Advocate for the Disabled When Our Government Doesn’t


Kate Harveston

Kate Harveston is originally from Williamsport, PA and holds a bachelor's degree in English. She enjoys writing about health and social justice issues. When she isn't writing, she can usually be found curled up reading dystopian fiction or hiking and searching for inspiration. If you like her writing, follow her blog, So Well, So Woman.

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15 Responses

  1. Avatar Pinky says:

    Special education programs should always be available. Not every child can be fully integrated into the standard classroom environment. Children with serious learning or behavioural problems can’t receive the attention they need in a regular classroom, and teachers are strained in trying to provide appropriate help for them while keeping the majority of the students progressing at a healthy pace. It’s not mean-spirited to point this out.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      That isn’t what IDEA requires.Report

      • Avatar Pinky says:

        LRE programs don’t require full integration, but the pressure to integrate more students into regular classrooms has the same effect.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy says:

          The biggest problem with IDEA is that it is a federal mandate with no guaranteed federal funds to match the needs. Fund the program at the federal level and you’d see much better results for all students.Report

  2. Avatar JoeSal says:

    My recommendation, get your local tax base out of personal debt first. As pretty much any good idea fairy that doesn’t start with that is siphoning off peoples income who are in debt, and prolonging interest payments that are likely not staying in the local economy to pay for stuff like ADA infrastructure.


  3. Avatar Damon says:

    “The business community has a special role to play in advocating for disabled inclusion and equal rights. First, because the disabled have a right to gainful employment just like the rest of us, and second, because the business community has the combined power to accomplish nearly anything it wishes.”

    That’s a statement of power of the business community, not reasons WHY they should help. Then you say “If you’re wondering if it’s necessary to go these extra miles for your disabled customers, it is. You will get to help others while making yourself stand out among the many others that fail so miserably.” Well so what? What’s the benefit to the company besides “being better than the rest”? Not sure that’s a bottom line impacting position. You got financial, economic, market penetration, etc. reasons why companies should do this?Report

    • Avatar George Turner says:

      I must’ve slept in class when they explained “the right to gainful employment”. Seems like it would be simpler to sue everybody instead of going to job interviews.Report

  4. Avatar Ozzy! says:

    This reads like a position paper. Maybe that was the goal? I’m not sure.

    “there’s a lot we can do that needs to be done..signal your disgust that much of the progress the disabled community has made over the years in housing, in health care, in educational settings, and in mainstream society, is under attack”

    Uh, agree that disabled people have it rough in our present day. It’s HARD for them. It’s EXPENSIVE for them. They are (probably) already on disability status from the government. I am really unsure who is attacking them. I’m really unsure what ‘alot’ is.

    Just seems like exhortation to ADVOCATE FOR SOMETHING!Report

  5. Avatar Ozzy! says:

    As a tangent, how much of the national economic reporting for unemployment/work force figures (hovering at 4% nowadays I think?) account for people with disabilities? Are the 34% mentioned here included or excluded from the general stats?

    I would assume anyone on medicare/aid disability would be excluded but I don’t know and am curious.Report

    • Avatar James K says:

      A person is considered unemployed if they are not working and are actively seeking work. This is determined by survey i.e. you ask people.

      So someone on disability who is without a job but, if asked, will say they are not actively looking for one, will not be counted as unemployed. Instead they will be classified as “not in the labour force” along with the retired and home-makers.Report

  6. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    A fun game to play is to compare stats given out by advocacy organizations to the actual stats and try to figure out why they differ. For example, compare the 34% unemployment rate for disabled workers given here to the 8.0% given by the BLS.Report

    • Avatar James K says:

      My first guess would be that they’ve confused unemployed for not employed, but the source’s link suggests that’s not the case.

      My second guess is they’re counting underemployment.

      Beyond that, selection maybe? They might only be sampling under 65s, which would skew the stats.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

        I thought it might be the so-called (by cranks) “true unemployment rate,” e.g. 1 – EPR, but the EPR for individuals aged 16-64 who have disabilities is only 29%, so it can’t be that.

        I have no idea how they got that number, and of course the claim isn’t sourced, so I’m stumped.Report

  7. Avatar Tom Payne says:

    {Ed Note: Tom Payne is a banned commenter}Report