Disability Rights Movement

Mackenzie Norton
Connie O’Donnell
Gary Friedmann
Laura Roark
A civil rights movement that seeks equal
access, opportunity, consideration, basic
human respect and dignity for those with a
physical or mental disability.
Individuals with physical disabilities such as
those who are blind, deaf or restricted to a
wheel chair
Individuals with mental disabilities such as
Autism or severe behavioral impairments
The beginning of the Disability Rights
Movement is a debated topic. Whether it
started in the 1800's with the founding of the
first school for the deaf or later, the movement
hit it's peak with the passing of the Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA) in1990.
Prepared by Mackenzie Norton
In July 1990 President George Bush signed the Americans
with Disabilities Act. The ADA website explains the act the
best as the following:
The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in
employment, State and local government, public accommodations,
commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications.
Attached is a video funded by the Department of Education
through the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation
Research about the good works of the ADA.
For more information please check out the Civil Rights
Division of the Department of Justice or the ADA website.
http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/drs/ or http://www.ada.gov/
Prepared by Mackenzie Norton
It is natural to fear the unknown. In chapter 8 of Hall’s Among
Cultures he writes, “Fear discourages interaction and helps to
establish defensive attitudes that can encourage negative results
when interactions do occur, thus functioning as a self-fulfilling
prophecy.” One of Autism Speaks main objectives is to advocate for
the needs of individuals with autism and their families. One of the
ways that they do this is to supply free “tool kits” to schools and
various members of communities. These kits teach people how they
can help to include those with autism spectrum disorder in everyday
activities and social situations. (Hall, 2005, p.247)
Prepared by Connie O’Donnell
Science - Autism Speaks funds biomedical research in an effort to better
understand the causes of autism and to advance its prevention, diagnosis and
treatment. Every effort that Autism Speaks makes has the goal of spreading
knowledge. It is a condition of Autism Speaks funding that all peer-reviewed
articles funded in whole or in part by its grants must be made available in the
PubMed Central online archive.
Advocacy - Autism Votes is an Autism Speaks initiative. Year after year they
help support state and federal initiatives to help protect and expand autism
insurance benefits. In Washington state there is currently a bill in the works for
Attached is a link to a map to see the Autism Speaks 2012 Initiatives Map.
Family Services - Autism Speaks takes being an organization to a whole other
level with the care they show for the families of those with autism spectrum
disorder. Their family services department is always available to help answer
questions involving the science of autism, about grants, medical coverage,
support groups, behavioral advice, etc.
Donate, Walk Now for Autism Speaks, sign up to receive email updates, and
follow Autism Speaks on Facebook and Twitter. For more information please
visit www.autismspeaks.org
Prepared by Connie O’Donnell
The world view on people with
autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
tends to be more towards
Ascription is based on the notion
that something is given to a
person and does not require the
person to have done something
for it. (Hall, 34)
As a result, five areas stand out
as consequence for Ascription:
Being marginalized or a failure to
fit into the social grouping.
Out of touch with one’s feelings
Making an identity
Thinking differently
Prepared by Gary Friedmann
Values are grounded in beliefs about the way the world should be rather
than assumptions about the way the world is. Norms are social rules for
what certain types of people should and should not do. (Hall, 2005)
Individuals with ASD have many problems with social rules in
communication, behavior, and social cues.
Presence or absence of retrieval cues appear to be related to the specific
communicative functions used by the children. (Quill, 1995)
The use of request functions ("I want juice") or rejections ("No, I don't
want that") is linked to a tangible contextual cue (i.e., the desired/
undesired item) and adult consequences (i.e., to give/remove item).
The absence of social communication is not an unwillingness to share
information but, rather, an impaired ability to extract relevant information
from a social context. (Quill, 1995)
Many children with ASD focus more on visual cues that involve the use of
pictographic and written language as instructional supports in both
structured and natural learning contexts. (Quill, 1995)
For children who are nonverbal, graphic augmentative systems have been
successfully used during communication training such systems include
picture symbols.(Quill, 1995)
Prepared by Gary Friedmann
In addition to the autistic individual, those who are close to them such
as family, friends, and intimate relationships are also significantly
Greater risk for mental illness in individuals with ASD such as Bi-polar
disorder. (Tantam, 2009)
Individuals with Autism rarely go into public places popular to their age
groups and restrict themselves to places with little to no social
socialization. (Tantam, 2009)
Bullying tends to be a large factor with individuals who have ASD.
Many feel this based on the amount of support individuals receive.
(Tantam, 2009)
In a study comparing families with a child with ASD and families of
other children with special health care needs the result was that
parents of children with ASDs reported less access to and more
dissatisfaction with school and community health services than the
other parents. (Quill, 1995)
Those with an ASD feel that they are different from other people in that
they are cut off but also that other people somehow are all the same.
Some individuals experience paranoia. (Tantam, 2009)
Prepared by Gary Friedmann
Frequently, autistic individuals do not show any
outward appearances of having a disability. It is
not until one interacts with them that they
notice that there is something different about
them. As a result, they don’t experience
discrimination because of their known disability,
but because they behave outside social norms.
In a study conducted by Butler and Gillis at
Auburn University to measure the impact of
labels and behaviors on adults with Aspergers
Disorder showed that it is the associated
behaviors that people with AD demonstrate that
cause the stigmatism and rejection of those
adults. (Butler, Gillis, 2011)
Prepared by Laura Roark
Johnson discusses how a disabled person is
often assumed to be less intelligent or
capable by their non-disabled counterparts.
(Johnson, 2006) In The Meaning of Autism:
Beyond Disorder, Sara O’Neil discusses
some of the ways that those with autism are
discriminated against. In her section on
communication, which is frequently an area of
challenge for autistics, she mentions a Rubin,
who was described as “retarded” growing up.
Once Rubin learned facilitated communication
she was able to find her voice and is now a
autism advocate. (O’Neil, 2008, p. 791)
Prepared by Laura Roark
In 2010 national attention was drawn to a restaurant that posted
a sign that said “Screaming Children WILL NOT be Tolerated” at
a North Carolina restaurant. Two parents of autistic children
noticed the sign and demanded it be removed stating that it was
discriminatory. (np) Some people with autism can express
themselves through loud and unusual sounds, which can be
disconcerting to those who are not familiar with the individuals.
In this case, the parents felt that the class of autistic people were
being punished for behaviors their children cannot control. This
particular incident could be categorized as a “blame the victim”
scenario, as described by Johnson. He explains that the
disabled group is “routinely assumed to be something that
resides solely in the person who has it” ultimately making it their
problem, not the non-disabled persons. (Johnson, 2006)
Prepared by Laura Roark
Individuals with autism are frequently stereotyped
for their behaviors. Many people with autism do
have special talents, but to assume they all do,
and to assume all autistics lack social skills is a
common stereo type found in American culture.
This type of thinking demonstrates the
fundamental attribution error, as discussed by
Hall. (Hall, 2005, p. 193)
The family and care providers of an autistic
individual are capable of discrimination too.
O’Neil explains that many times parents and
medical providers fail to explain to children
exactly what their diagnosis is and fail to gather
that individuals input about treatment. (O’Neil,
Prepared by Laura Roark
In Dyches, et al paper “Multicultural Issues in Autism” they
explain that some Latino cultures view having a child with
disabilities as “punishment for the sins of the parent”. They go
on to summarize individuals that are both autistic and come
from a multicultural background have four “dimensions” that
are stacked up: “communication, social skills, behavioral
repertoires, and culture.” (Dyches, 2004, p. 221)
As you can see by the previous examples, individuals with
autism clearly face many prejudices that those in the
privileged categories do not worry about. Whether it be
gaining and retaining employment, labels, such as “retarded”
assigned to them, being able to go out in public and enjoy a
meal, or even having a voice in their own care, those with
autism are regularly discriminated against.
Prepared by Laura Roark
Learn Actively
Our group decided to research the Disability Rights Movement specifically the works
of the organization Autism Speaks. We divided our project into four parts so we each
had to research and compile our own data and present it to the group.
Communicate with Clarity and Originality
Our group decided to meet in person after a series of emails that confused many in
the group. We struggled at first to figure out the direction of the project. Once we met
in person however, our group was able to clearly communicate the objective of the
project and the research direction we wanted to take.
Think Critically, Creatively and Reflectively
Our group decided to research the Disability Rights Movement specifically the works
of the organization Autism Speaks. We divided our project into four parts so we each
had to research and compile our own data and present it to the group.
Interact in Diverse and Complex Environments
Each member of our group has a different work schedule, making it difficult to
communicate. We were able to over come this obstacle by meeting on campus and
exchanging different email addresses that proved more effective than the angel email
Prepared by Mackenzie Norton
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Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com.offcampus.lib.washington.edu/ehost/
A Guide to Disability Rights Laws. (n.d.). ADA Home Page - ada.gov - Information and
Technical Assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act. Retrieved December 8,
2011, from http://www.ada.gov/cguide.htm Hall, B. Among Cultures: The Challenge of
Communication (2nd ed). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.
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