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Disabled and Marginalized

Mentally and physically disabled people have faced a long history of


discrimination and marginalization. Their physical or mental ailments cause them to
function differently than others, and are usually unable to complete daily tasks. The
inability to complete assigned or required tasks is the reason why the disabled are
marginalized. In other words, the disabled people are marginalized because of the
many challenges they struggle to overcome, such as economic opportunity, access
to goods and services, and obtaining legal protections.
Disabled people have a much harder time finding jobs, and thus have a
greatly diminished economic opportunity, as compared with the average, nondisabled person. Disabled people are unable to pursue many jobs and careers, as
their physical or mental restrictions bar them from performing tasks at a high level.
According to a 2012 census by the US Department of Labor, the percentage of
working-age people with disabilities was 32%, while that of people without
disabilities was 73% (US Department of Labor, 2012). They must settle for lower
level jobs, and in turn are paid lower wages, and live in poorer conditions. Their
situation is further worsened by the fact that the poor and the lower-classes are
traditionally marginalized. Clearly, the challenges the disabled face through
diminished economic opportunity causes them to be marginalized in society.
People with disabilities have less success at obtaining needed goods and
services. Since they are disabled, they are rarely able to function on their own, and
must rely on others, mainly family or paid babysitters. Therefore, they have reduced
access to goods, as they usually do not make the choices to purchase goods.
Furthermore, they are unable to request services for themselves, unless done
through a medium, such as family or their legal guardian. In a study initiated by the

United Kingdom based group Leonard Cheshire, it was found that 40% of those with
disabilities that were surveyed reported difficulties with accessing goods and
services in the last 12 months, and 72% reported a failure of shop owners to provide
them with assistance to goods and services (Leonard Chesire, 2010). This inability
to obtain needed goods and services also causes the disabled to be marginalized in
society.
Perhaps the greatest reason that the disabled are marginalized in society is
the numerous laws and legal protection that fail to, or inadequately, attempt to help
the disabled with their place in society. The disabled dont enjoy all the rights that
the average person enjoys in society. Although the government has tried to
implement many laws to help the disabled find a place in society, they have
scarcely had an effect, due to the unwillingness of citizens to pay for the benefit of a
small group. Debates and policies have been directed toward the freedoms and nondiscrimination of the disabled, and are currently working to ensure suitable
conditions for them in the workplace and public areas. However, this is met with
much opposition, mainly from those who feel that the government should not have
such a large role in helping the disabled. Congress passed the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990 to prevent people with disabilities to be discriminated in the
workplace; however, the law was criticized by many citizens and businesses who
felt the law was too vague, and provided benefits for disabled people that didnt
deserve them, as the law stated that benefits went to "a qualified individual with a
disability. The disabled are therefore further marginalized through their attempts to
obtain legal protection and equal rights.
The disabled are very unfortunate, in that they are deprived of equal rights
and opportunities because of their mental or physical ailments, and they face many

challenges in society. They are marginalized to the outer fringes of society, and
shunned by many. However, their challenges are slowly being overcome through
scientific breakthroughs, government policies, gradual acceptance, and their own
undying efforts to be integrated into society. Soon, they will no longer be
marginalized; instead, they will be just like any other person, coping with outside
pressures with the same advantages as everyone else.

Works Cited

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Pub. L. 101336, 2, 104 Stat 328. 26 July
1990. Print.
Leonard Chesire (2010). Rights and Reality [Word Document]. Retrieved from
http://www.leonardcheshire.org/sites/default/files/Rights%20and%20reality
%20(final).doc
United States Department of Labor (2012). Economic Picture of the Disability
Community Project; Key
points on Disability and Occupational Projections Tables[Pdf Document].
Retrieved from
http://www.dol.gov/odep/pdf/20141022-KeyPoints.pdf