Attitude, Legislation and Litigation
Attitude,Legislation and Litigation
Attitude,Legislation and Litigation
Introduction Inthe past, people with disability received a frigid treatment. Thenames used to refer to such people in the society were harsh andabusive. Such names include crippled, disabled, retarded, and idiotamong others. At that time, disabled people were not allowed toassociate with other people in the society freely. They did not havethe same rights with other ordinary members of the society such asthe right to education and medical treatment. The federal governmentrestricted persons with mental disabilities from marrying to avoidpassing the disability to their children. It even reached a pointwhen government decided to sterilize these individuals to avoidspreading inferior genes in the society. However, circumstances havechanged and disabled people have a place in the society. Theattitudes of the society towards the disabled have improvedsignificantly. Legislations have been enacted that gives the disabledequal opportunities with other members of the society (Christman &Slaten, 2007).Social implications ofattitude, legislation, andlitigation on the lives ofstudents with disabilities
Over the years, the attitudes of students without a disabilitytowards those who are disabled have been negative. Students with adisability were seen as people who cannot make it in life. In short,disabled people were seen to represent failures in the society. Thecause of the disability was thought to be either a curse from theancestors or possession by evil spirits. This negative mentalityresulted in harsh treatment towards the students with a disability.Disabled students faced a larger problem in the form of stigmacompared to their physical or mental retardation. The increased needsof disabled students compared to those of other students made them beviewed as a burden in the society. The disabled students alsodeveloped the mentality that they are a discomfort to the society andthis had a negative implication on their performance. The attitudedeveloped by many cultures towards individuals with a disability onlyserved to increase the social stigma among the disabled people. Theintroduction of special schools and/or classes did not help lower thestigma suffered by the disabled. In fact, the disabled studentssuffered more stigmas because of the separation. There was a feelingof exclusion among the disabled students and the feeling that theywere not equal with other students. United States supreme courts madeseveral rulings that ensured equal opportunities to all studentsirrespective of their physical or mental health. The law providedthat all students have a right to equal education. The implication ofthis law was having both the disabled and their counterparts attendthe same classes and have access to equal resources. This was a goodprogress towards equality and towards reducing stigma among studentswith disabilities. However, this ruling has negative and positiveimpacts. Although disabled students have a chance to interact andsocialize with other students, they face stiff competition from otherstudents who are not disadvantaged. There is also increased pressureon both the disabled student and the teacher to make sure the studentis at par with other students and failure to achieve this will implyincreased stigma on the student (Christman & Slaten, 2007). Inrecent years, due to legislations and litigation that require equaltreatment of all individuals in the country, the society has beenforced to give preferential treatment among disabled people in thesociety. The education sector in particular has experienced majorchallenges while trying to ensure equality among all students.Establishment of special schools for the disabled was faced with thechallenge of funding. The amount of funds allocated to theseinstitutions was not enough to cater for the different needs ofdisabled students. Establishment of special education was alsopromoting segregation, as disabled students were required to attenddifferent classes from other students. Legislations andlitigation have been passed to ensure inclusive learning. Under thenew legislation, disabled students are required to attend the sameclasses with the non-disabled students. This new legislation meansthat students with disabilities will feel part of the society andequal with nondisabled students. The advantage of having such afeeling is that the disabled students will be able to achieve theirgoals in life. Equal chances among all students imply growingself-esteem among the disabled students. In the future, specialeducation may be integrated with the formal education completely.Educators have a task of ensuring that all students are treatedequally. They should ensure that the disabled students are protectedfrom stiff competition. Teachers will have to play a great role inthe future of ensuring the disabled have equal chances with thenon-disabled (Christman & Slaten, 2007). In thecontemporary world, the negative titles used to address disabledpeople in the society have been changed to exceptional people.Students who have disabilities are celebrated and seen as unique.These exceptional students have friends who are not disabled. Unlikein the past, social interactions are common among students regardlessof disability. The restrictions that used to be there in the pastlimiting the rights of the disabled are becoming extinct. Separatehospitals for the disabled, separate schools, separate workingenvironment are all outdated. The notion that used to be there thatthe disabled people should not marry has been discouraged by thedifferent mitigations exercised. Disabled students are able toparticipate in sports like any other student, sit for the same examswith other students and take leadership positions like any otherstudent. Initially, I would not have imagined sharing the samebench with a disabled person especially those who are mentallyretarded. The last thing that I would have entertained in my mind istaking a meal together with a mentally retarded person. From mycultural background, I had developed a notion that mentally retardedpeople are less human and more of an evil spirit. However, throughexperience and education, I have come to learn that these peoplerepresent diversity and they are as useful in the society as anyother person is. Taking a meal with such people is a privilege. Iadvocate for equal treatment of all people regardless of their mentalor physical condition.Conclusion Disabledstudents received cold treatment in the past. The society consideredthem as less fortunate and less human being. Measures were beingtaken to reduce such people in the society. Such students did nothave equal rights with other students. Stigmatization that was socommon in those days made the disabled students feels inferior.However, with recent legislations and litigation, the rights of thesedisabled students are being recognized. Nowadays, disabled studentsare able to enjoy benefits of learning institutions. Educators shouldplay an important role in ensuring equal treatment of disabled peoplein the future.
Christman, L. A., & Slaten, B. L. (2007). Attitudes toward peoplewith disabilities and judgments of employment potential. Perceptualand motor skills, 72(2), 467-475.