Sample Essay on Handicapped People

Over the past century, we as a society have had many views about Handicapped People. We have held many misconceptions, generalizations and stereotyped the disabled community. Although it is illogical, we have often grouped and assumed that all disabled people are at the same impairment level. It was not until later in the 1980’s and 1990’s that people with disabilities were recognized with different need levels and different types of disabilities that we could adapt services for. Early in the 1900’s disabled people and people with differences were exploited by the public’s curiosity about the unusual. People with disabilities were sensationalized in the carnival culture as human exhibits and their differences were capitalized on as income. People with disabilities were not considered competent enough to be a part of society.

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They were excluded from “normal” society and kept with their own kind. Any normal accomplishments made by people with disabilities were flaunted as extraordinary. Beginning in the decade of the 40’s, concepts of people with disabilities started to change.

They were seen as pathological, patients that could be treated and cured. They were still secluded and feared by the general population. The “freak” sideshows were considered repulsive during this period, but the disabled were still locked away to protect the “normal” people from danger. Universities during the 60’s and 70’s became places of protest against structural exclusion and the negative attitudes toward the disabled population. There were attempts to develop an awareness of and objections to the presence of society’s distortion and misconceptions about the disabled population.

Educational goal and standard developers suggested that the goals and standards should be appropriate for all students. The distinction of “all students” raised importance to the issues of students with disabilities and special needs. Amendments to the Education of the Handicapped Act, PL 99-457 broadened the mandate for providing services to preschool children between three and five years of age. Schools were now responsible for providing early intervention programs. Students who did not meet the criteria for special education services were entitled to reasonable accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

We have come a long way over the course of the century, attitudes have been modified and collaboration between educators and students has helped achieve more productive academic and physical accommodations. Disability and diversity awareness is now a responsibility of the community, as a whole. Anti-discriminatory procedures are now a part of job deblockedions and monitored and evaluated on a regular basis. Adaptations for access and inclusion are being facilitated in the classrooms. We have taken steps towards successful inclusion of students with disabilities within the educational community.

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