Handicap This! September-October 2017

From the September-October 2017 issue of News & Letters

by Suzanne Rose

New Jersey lawmakers approved a bill in July to expand eligibility for medical paroles for prisoners who are “physically incapacitated” and pose no threat to society. The bill would also allow them to enroll in Medicaid. To be eligible, prisoners must have a medical condition that causes a permanent inability to perform basic daily activities and need 24-hour care that they did not need when sentenced.

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A Chicago police sergeant has been put on desk duty indefinitely for shooting an autistic teen while off duty. The 18-year-old, who also suffers from schizophrenia, had been reported missing by his foster mother. The off-duty cop tried to question the teen, and ended up shooting him in the arm.

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Hollywood’s more popular films include few depictions of those with disabilities, a new study found. It was recently released by the Media, Diversity, and Social Change Initiative at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School. Characters with disabilities accounted for just 2.7% of speaking roles in top Hollywood movies distributed in 2016, according to the report.

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