Dal Gender and Women's Studies Collective

Archive for the ‘Disabilities’ Category

Ableism alive and well…

New York Times article published today discusses the condition of people living in state run facilities for the developmentally disabled. The article reads:

February afternoon in 2007, Jonathan, a skinny, autistic 13-year-old, was asphyxiated, slowly crushed to death in the back seat of a van by a state employee who had worked nearly 200 hours without a day off over 15 days. The employee, a ninth-grade dropout with a criminal conviction for selling marijuana, had been on duty during at least one previous episode of alleged abuse involving Jonathan.

“I could be a good king or a bad king,” he told the dying boy beneath him, according to court documents.

In the front seat of the van, the driver, another state worker at O. D. Heck, watched through the rear-view mirror but said little. He had been fired from four different private providers of services to the developmentally disabled before the state hired him to care for the same vulnerable population.

In a country that is consider a leader in technology, progress, and growth the U.S. is obviously lacking in human compassion and understanding. These facilities are just a small example of the systemic ableism that runs rampant throughout North American society.