This issue of Human Rights is dedicated to exploring the landscape of disability rights law in 2017. This subject could not be more timely given the current political climate in which not only the rights but the very lives of people with disabilities are under severe and constant threat.
With the changing political atmosphere, what does the future hold for civil rights laws protecting the disability community? In her article, Hill discusses legislation currently in place and how changes could damage the rights of those with disabilities.
The passage of the ABLE Act allows individuals with disabilities and their families to save without losing eligibility to government programs, helping them to prepare for long-term needs and care.
Employment is an important part of self-worth, particularly for disabled people. Unfortunately, this group is often at a disadvantage for job opportunities. However, recent laws, policy
changes, and programs are helping to change that.
Nearly 20 percent of women in the world are disabled. Ortoleva looks at the issues affecting disabled women and offers resolutions for including this population in conflict resolution efforts.
To uphold strides made in recent legislation under the Obama administration that has expanded opportunities for people with disabilities, including those with psychiatric disabilities, it is imperative that government approach mental health from a
disability rights perspective. Contrast this with policies focusing on “mental health” that tend to associate psychiatric disability with violence and crime.
The criminal justice system has a tendency to focus only on the facts of the crime while ignoring the individual. Fair sentences require an understanding of the person being sentenced, along with the details of the crime.
Americans, in large part, don’t know or understand their human rights. This is evident in the realm of public education of children with disabilities. A common understanding of human rights is needed to improve the lives of those with disabilities, and including children with disabilities in educational settings is a start.
Growing political involvement from people with disabilities, called “self-advocates,” has helped to promote a more rights based approach to disability policy, pushing boundaries in community inclusion.
The relationship between a nation’s laws and culture can be seen in its treatment of individuals with disabilities. Wohl looks at how American life and culture reflect a history of discrimination, segregation, and neglect and how popular culture can shape the way our nation views and treats those with disabilities.
In this issue, we honor Judy Heumann, who has worked tirelessly to pave the way for those with disabilities. With impressive political undertakings and a vision of inclusion, Heumann has made the world a more tolerant and fair place.