Compare and contrast of the circumstances faced by people with disabilities in the US.
This 3-5 page essay will give you the opportunity to reflect on the lived experiences of people living with disabilities around the world. Compare and contrast the lived experiences of people living with disabilities in the US to those in another country of your choice. This can be a country of origin or a country of interest. In order to be successful, provide a thoughtful compare and contrast of the circumstances faced by people with disabilities in the US and in the country of your choice by answering and considering the following questions. Identify the social, cultural, political and economic factors shaping the lived experiences of people with disabilities. How do the countries’ political systems (i.e. democracy, communism, authoritarian regimes), level of stability (failed states, civil war, economic collapse), economics (i.e. first world wealth v. third world poverty), geography/topography (i.e. urban, rural, mountainous, etc), and health care system (universal v. private insurance) help or hinder the quality of life of people with disabilities? For example, how does socioeconomic status or the overall economy of the country affect disabled communities? Do people living with disabilities in these countries have equal access compared to their non-disabled counterparts? How do community members’ personal characteristics (i.e. race, gender, sexual orientation, financial/housing stability) affect access to, for example: Optimum healthcare and rehabilitation Free and appropriate education Job opportunities Achieving fulfillment/“full potential”/pursuit of happiness/social integration in the community/respect Which model(s) of disability is present in each country? (social, medical, empowerment based, religious, charity, etc) Evaluate the presence or absence of legal protections and human rights for people with disabilities in each country. Describe the legislation and evaluate the impact. Has it been successfully implemented and enforced? Give examples. If implementation has failed, what are the social, political, cultural, and other barriers? (Two examples of legal protections enacted in the US are The Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 the Rehab Act.) The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) provides worldwide protections for people with disabilities and has been signed by 162 countries since 2006. There are 50 Articles of the CRPD addressing the accessibility and inclusion of basic human rights. Some Articles focus on particular populations such as women and children, while most articles address basic freedoms and rights such as access to justice, freedom of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, freedom from exploitation, freedom of expression, adequate standard of living and social protection, and living independently and being included in the community. Based on your research, select the Articles that apply to your populations of focus. To what extent do the US and the country you selected live up to the standard put forth by the Articles of the UN CRPD? Provide evidence for your conclusion. Evidence can include both relevant legal policy as well as evidence of political and social implementation. What is the role of ableism in each country? (Emphasize social injustices and the ways that social disparities affect how people with disabilities are included, or not, in the community) What’s the overall quality of life enjoyed by people living with disabilities in each country? High, medium, low? Tips for Success In order to be successful on this assignment you must use proper in-text citations and references. I welcome your use of quotes from the text to illustrate your points. However, you must cite your quotes directly in-text and in the references (incorporating word for word text without quotation marks is considered plagiarism, and will result in no credit for this assignment). The majority of your focus will be on the lived experiences of people with disabilities in your country of choice. Where applicable, you will compare and contrast with the circumstances in the US. Your thesis statement should make reference to key factors you’ve chosen to focus on (i.e. healthcare, legal rights, human rights, education, job opportunities, etc) Here are some examples: The US has legal protections in place for people living with disabilities in theory, but in practice deaf people, for example, are less likely to have insurance coverage and more likely to face communication access barriers than their counterparts in Cuba. (The Cuban government provides sign language interpreters.) Nicaragua is considered one of the world’s poorest countries, while the US is considered one of the richest but, especially in the aftermath of the Sandinista revolution in 1979, Nicaraguans disabled due to fighting in the revolution were seen as heroes and enjoyed more social inclusion and integration than disabled people in the US at a similar time. Many freedoms exist in our democracy in the US, however many disabled Americans continue to be denied access to quality healthcare, while in Cuba, a communist country, disabled Cubans enjoy universal healthcare. Find two sources pertaining to populations of disabled people living in the US and living in the country you’ve chosen. One must be a peer-reviewed scholarly article, reports or white papers, or book chapter, one can be a popular news or media article (you are also able to include readings from class as one of the sources) (i.e. articles from Week 7 on disability and poverty in different countries with different political and religious systems) *If you need extra help narrowing the focus of your search. pick a population in each country that has historically faced barriers or discrimination. (i.e. African Americans, LGBTQIA, women, refugees, undocumented immigrants/non-native speakers, indigenous people, people with financial, food or housing insecurities, religious minorities) and go from there. Keep in mind that you’re not expected to compare and contrast every single factor so long as you identity and focus on 1 or 2 key factors and give a thoughtful explanation of how each factor helps or hinders full participation of people with disabilities.