How has the recession that began approximately in 2008 affected the lives of people with disabilities, i.e., have there been cuts in programs?

In the last ten years or so, a number of modifications and additional amendments have been added under Presidents Clinton and G.W. Bush, including the expansion of the Act in 2008.

For this week’s assignment, respond to BOTH questions:

1. How has the recession that began approximately in 2008 affected the lives of people with disabilities, i.e., have there been cuts in programs? Research the issue, and summarize your findings. (This need not be an exhaustive search, but give at least one example.) (50 points)

2. A related employment issue for persons with disabilities is the controversial existence of “sheltered workshops”. Research the issue and outline a) the positive aspects b) the negative position, and c) your own position. Justify your point of view. (50 points)



(The following quotes are taken from “No Pity” by Joseph Shapiro)

“A candidate ignores the issues of disabled people at his own peril…The disability movement’s strength…of 35 to 43 million people with disabilities—was also a weakness. The disability rights movement spanned a splintered universe. There are hundreds of different disabilities, and each group tended to see its issues in relation to its specific disability…The ADA brought this fragmented population together in a fight against discrimination…To win passage of the ADA, disabled people had to forgo historic alliances not only among different disability groups and politicians but with the professionals who had cared for them for so long…Bob Kafka, a protest veteran and paraplegic who used a wheelchair, brought thirty militant activists, all disabled and all members of American Disabled for Accessible Public Transit, or ADAPT. They came to disrupt Congress with protests, sit-ins, and other acts of civil disobedience…The point was to force a confrontation to show that disabled people…cared deeply enough to go to jail for their rights…As Kafka sees it, forcing confrontation and getting arrested gave disabled people a sense of empowerment after lives of dependency…With the support of a powerful coalition of disabled people and their families, politicians, and disability professionals, the ADA moved swiftly through Congress. It became law on July 26, 1990….It’s passage was an earthshaking event…signifying a radical transformation in the way {persons with disabilities} saw themselves—as a minority that now had rights to challenge its exclusion”


A.  Do you agree with Bob Kafka’s and ADAPT’s position of civil disobedience and aggressive tactics? Explain your position.

B.  Research the topics of disability rights (this includes disability as a social movement, advocacy, and governmental support programs) and find an article of particular interest to you. Summarize its contents and comment on its relevance to you personally and to persons with disabilities in general.