In your readings for this week we’re exploring key issues associated with disability and ableism. In recent years, comprehensive approaches to addressing disability and the oppression of people with disabilities (i.e., ableism) have taken the form of legislation to eliminate both discrimination and other social barriers in our society. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA, 1990) provides legal recognition of the civil rights of people with disabilities. Passage of this legislation is hailed as a significant step toward ending the long and unequal treatment of people with disabilities in the U.S.
The Disability Rights Movement was instrumental in getting the ADA passed. The Disability Rights/Independent Living Movement promotes integration, equality, access and self-determination for people with disabilities.
For the purposes of this discussion please complete the following.
1. Take a look at the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Home Page http://www.ada.gov/
2. Respond to the following questions:
a. According to the ADA, what is considered a disability?
b. What are your earliest memories of, or experiences with, people with disabilities? What forms of disability (physical, mental, emotional) were included in these early memories?
c. What messages did the people around you (i.e., parents, teachers, friends, etc.) pass on to you about people with disabilities?
d. Choose one area on the ADA website (such as service animals, accessible design, sign language interpreters, etc.) and give a brief overview of ADA recommendations in this area.
e. How have your perceptions/thoughts about ableism and persons with disabilities changed after reading this week’s readings and reviewing the ADA website?
3. Use in-text citations and references to support your answers.
The theme for the 2012 American Sociological Association annual conference was “Real Utopias.” Thomas Moore coined the term “utopia” in the early 16th century as a pun on two Greek roots—no place and good place. A utopia is a fantasy world of perfect harmony, peace and justice.
The notion of a “real” utopia embraces the tension between the dream and actual implementation. “Utopia” implies visions of alternatives that embody our deepest aspirations for a world in which all people have access to the conditions necessary to live flourishing lives.
“Real” implies making concrete. That is, creating ideals that are grounded in practical solutions that can be implemented in order to transform dreams or visions into realities.
1. For the purposes of this discussion please respond to the following questions:
a. In regard to diversity, what does your utopia look like?
b. What role does social justice play in your utopia?
c. What “real” changes will need to be made in order to transform your utopia into a reality?
d. What information from this course will you apply in your life to make your utopia “real?”
2. Use in-text citations and references to support your answers.