October 10, 2006
A look at some of the topics in Ragged Edge Online's libraries and archives.
The traditional "hire the handicapped" month is a good time to spotlight some articles from the Ragged Edge library and archives focusing on this matter of work:
In our July, 2000 issue, in Once again, for the first time, people with disabilities are recruited into the workforce. Prof. Arnold Birenbaum of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine wrote about the kind of news coverage that hasn't changed since World War II -- the amazing crip who works!
The Americans with Disabilities Act, passed in 1990 by Congress, was supposed to help disabled Americans remain in the workforce. But that's hardly been how things have turned out.
In a series of rulings in beginning in 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court has made it harder and harder for people who need some form of a workplace adjustment to continue working to do so. Ironically, that was one of the main intents of the law as designed by disability rights activists.
The lack of accommodation is a recurring theme.
AT&T, oft-praised for disability savvy, showed a different side to computer analyst Dean Olson, who told of his experience in One Man's Story of Discrimination. In My Unaccommodated Career, Gary Roberts tells us that Voc Rehab was a reluctant employer when it came to accommodation as well.
Nancy Foley, who directs the Alliance for Injured Workers in western Massachusetts, writes that people with invisible injuries, such as chronic pain, or have poorly understood diagnoses, like chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and multiple chemical sensitivity, find that "nondisabled people do not believe us when we say we cannot work. They think we are lazy." Read The Stigma of Not Working.
Researcher John Frank's project examines the lack of accommodation in Stories of accommodation gone wrong.
And then there are sheltered workshops. They're no more than sweatshops, say many activists. Read Kansas group uses radio ads to target sheltered workshops and 'Immorality' in Texas workshop.
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Posted on October 10, 2006