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Disability Studies Blog

What’s Missing in the Social Model of Disability?

The social model alone does not capture the complex, multi-directional dynamics that impede the attainment of equity for at least some people with disabilities. Systemic inequities, and resulting hardship and trauma, may be creating disabilities for some people. For example, people may have cognitive disabilities as a result of exposure to lead in water or paint in places that are supposed to be safe, such as home and school, and mental health disabilities as a result of intergenerational trauma stemming from systemic racism or profound isolation.

The Subminimum Wage: Inequality Before the Law

“The good intentions of this act are obvious, as its aim was to protect workers from labor abuses and stimulate economic growth. However, section 14(c) of this act offers a significant caveat: the US Secretary of Labor may grant certificates allowing for the employment of people with disabilities at a rate below the federal minimum wage so that their employment opportunities are not reduced (Wage and Hour Division 2008). While this provision may seem equally good-intentioned and fairly logical at a surface level, modern uses of this provision have been poorly regulated and abused by employers, further contributing to the discrimination that Americans with disabilities face” — Isabella Payne.

Reimagining American School Discipline: School Discipline, Ableism, and the IDEA

“While the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was intended to prevent the exclusion of students with disabilities from public schools, students with disabilities are still at a greater risk of exclusionary discipline than any other student subgroup and continue to be excluded from their right to a fair and appropriate public education.” This opinion piece lists recommendations by Sabrina Aponte