Handicap This!: January-February 2017

From the January-February 2017 issue of News & Letters

by Suzanne Rose

In India over the past three years, institutionalized women with disabilities have been documented suffering from forced seclusion, abuse and neglect. Many have been forced into Mental Health Centers. Local disabled persons’ organizations have advocated for them for decades. Once a woman enters one of these centers she usually doesn’t get out.

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The right for the disabled to choose their own care in England has become a casualty of council cuts. They are entitled to a personal budget, which helps them hire caregivers and provides for other care options. The cuts in the personal budget of many people have left many of the disabled unable to make proper choices for themselves or their loved ones.

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The U.S. Supreme Court will review a case brought by the parents of an autistic child against his Colorado school district. The parents are arguing that children with disabilities are entitled to an education that provides them a “meaningful benefit,” not merely “some educational benefit.” Winning could raise the standard of education for six million disabled children. However, it may be hard for already poor school districts to meet those standards.

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Photo: justice 4 Kayla Moore Facebook page

Photo: Justice 4 Kayla Moore Facebook page

Transgender African American Kayla Moore, who suffered from schizophrenia, was killed by police in Berkeley, Calif. The officer responding to a mental health call didn’t monitor her vital signs while holding her face down for several minutes. Disabled Black people are often violently targeted by police. Many killed have mental health issues that police are not equipped to deal with. The sad thing is that families are often the ones who called police, hoping they could help defuse a difficult situation, because there is no one else to call for help. Instead, many of their loved ones end up dead.

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