Disability Issues / Ableism Articles

The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

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Groups Clash over Ariz. Minimum-Wage Disability Exemption

Some Arizonians want their state’s hard-won minimum-wage hike to apply only to “able-bodied” employees, leaving a loophole for paying disabled workers less.

Despite Laws, Disabled Voters Face Barriers at Polls

Voters with disabilities warn that despite anti-discrimination laws, many still face barriers when they try to go to the polls.

Unemployment, Poverty Higher for People with Disabilities

A "dramatic" gap in unemployment and poverty separates people with and without disabilities, according to a new report released by Cornell University in collaboration with the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).

US Influences Disability Rights Treaty, but Won’t Sign It

Despite having a heavy hand in negotiations, the United States says it will not sign a global treaty codifying the rights of people with disabilities.

Campaigners Fight to Keep Mentally Ill out of Solitary Confinement

Prisoner-rights activists say locking mentally ill inmates in "special housing units" is the last step in a long road of neglect and abuse that starts in the community and often results in extraordinary suffering and even suicide.

Disabled People 'Left Behind' in Emergency Planning

During Hurricane Katrina, Benilda Caixeta, a New Orleans resident with quadriplegia, tried for two days to seek refuge at the Superdome. Despite repeated phone calls to authorities, help never arrived for Caixeta. Days later, she was found dead in her apartment, floating next to her wheelchair.

Attitude, Not Cost, Barrier to Disabled Workers

Recent data shows employers who make an effort to accommodate employees with disabilities can do so at little cost and great benefit, exposing deeper discrimination behind dismal employment numbers.

EPA Sued over Pesticide Human-testing Rule

Several groups are suing the Environmental Protection Agency over new rules for human pesticide testing. According to the groups, the month-old regulations are "riddled with loopholes" and will lead to even more tests on human subjects.

Bush Looks to Shift Medicaid Costs to States, Disabled

An independent economic analysis released yesterday found that under the president’s proposed budget, states would have to pick up billions in Medicaid expenses, most likely forcing some to reduce services.

Mental Health Policy Neglects, Endangers Public, Patients

In a report on the United States’ criminal-justice and mental-healthcare systems, a leading international human rights group yesterday outlined the cases of 100 mentally ill convicted murderers executed by state governments since the death penalty was reintroduced nearly 30 years ago. The 189-page Amnesty International study culminates in a call for the country to seriously assess how it treats people with mental impairments.

Alito Threatens Disability Rights Laws, Advocates Charge

People with disabilities and their advocates are questioning Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito’s commitment to upholding established law and protecting the hard-won rights of disabled people.

Disabled Prisoner’s Suit Brings ‘States Rights’ Clash

Arguments opened today in a consolidated disability rights case that affords the Supreme Court the opportunity to clear up confusion about who wins when rights claimed by the state conflict with those of the individual. The hearing over the Georgia state prison system’s alleged violations of a federal law protecting disabled people brought administration lawyers together with civil rights groups often highly critical of the White House.

New York Firefighters to Sue over 9/11-related Disability Decision*

Claiming that a 2003 pension board decision changing the rules for firefighters seeking 9/11-related disability payments may be "political," a group of 30 current and retired New York City firefighters is preparing a class-action lawsuit against the city fire department to force officials to either return workers to full status or allow them to retire with the original pension.

Mentally Retarded Man Beaten, Tasered by Chicago Police

In a lawsuit to be filed today, a law firm known for battling police misconduct is alleging that officers with the Chicago Police Department beat and shocked a mentally retarded man but never charged him with any crime.

Virginia Jury Deems Death Row Inmate Not Retarded

The Virginia man whose case prompted a ban on executing mentally retarded people is ironically heading for death row following jury deliberations on the his mental capacity.

Voter Verification, Accessibility Within Reach, Group Says

Advocates for disabled people came together with proponents of verifiable voting methods in Pasadena, California yesterday to call on federal officials to mandate that all state voting machines be accessible and produce a paper trail.

Electronic Voting Law Splits Florida Disabled Advocates

An approaching deadline for the purchase and installation of electronic voting machines designed to ease the voting process for Florida’s disabled citizens has pulled one county into court and created a rift in the state’s disabled advocacy community over the necessity of including paper receipts on the machines.

Judge Assails Caps on Damage Awards

In reluctantly reducing financial penalties against the world’s largest retailer Wednesday for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a federal judge noted that low dollar fines are unlikely to alter the behavior of monolithic companies.

Discrimination, Segregation Still Prevalent in Housing

Through overt prejudice and subtle bias, landlords and local housing policymakers take advantage of weak federal oversight to perpetuate the legacy of segregated neighborhoods, fair housing advocates say.

Plug Pulled on California Bill Assisted Suicide Bill

The sponsor of a bill legalizing physician-assisted suicide in California opted to remove the bill from the floor of the state Assembly last week due to lack of legislative support from members of both major political parties.

Californians Protest Governor’s Care Worker Cuts

Concerned that proposed state cuts to an in-home care program will force them to move out of their communities and into nursing homes or other institutions, more than 300 seniors, people with disabilities and their caregivers protested at a town hall Friday to lobby for the funds to be restored.

Chemical Dependence Not a Mental Illness, Oregon Court Rules

The Oregon Supreme Court ruled Thursday that drug and alcohol dependency are personality disorders that should not be considered mental illness under state law.

Law to Force Mental Illness Treatment Raises Ire of Civil Libertarians

With no easy way to approach mental illnesses sufferers who do not seek out treatment, critics say a codified system of coercion may cause more problems than it solves as well as violate patients’ rights.

Foster Kids Experience Far More Trouble As Adults, Study Shows

Adults who were in the Oregon and Washington foster care systems as children are twice as likely to experience post-traumatic stress disorder as are US war veterans, a study revealed Wednesday.

Terri Schiavo Case Sees Controversial 11th Hour Federal Intervention

In yet another unexpected twist, the US House and Senate have scrounged together an 11th hour law to keep Terri Schiavo alive, but critics say it flies in the face of the Constitution and tramples states’ rights.

Disability Discrimination Suit Against Airline to Proceed

Three men declined for jobs by American Airlines after they did not disclose their HIV status received a green light last week when a court ruled the company may have misused medical information.

Disabled woman’s parents file desperate motions to keep her alive

A Florida judge last week ruled that Terri Schindler-Schiavo’s husband Michael Schiavo could not order his severely brain disabled wife’s feeding tube removed until March 18. The decision delayed Terri Schiavo’s impending death by starvation and dehydration while her parents attempt to stop the order. On Monday, the Schindlers filed a motion asking the court to grant their daughter a divorce from Michael Schiavo. They also asked that some reporters be given access to view Terri with her parents.

TV Stations Fined for Failing Deaf People in Time of Crisis

The FCC plans to level $65k in fines against three California TV outlets for allegedly shirking their duty under a 2000 ruling to convey emergency messages in visual format.

Schindler-Schiavo case moves closer to 3rd removal of feeding tube

The parents of a woman who has spent the past fifteen years in what some doctors call a "persistent vegetative state" have lost yet another attempt to keep a vital device attached to their daughter. Bob and Mary Schindler argue their daughter, 41-year-old Terri Schindler-Schiavo, is aware of her surroundings and strong potential to recover cognitive skills and the ability to feed herself.

Caught in the Smoke: Employees, Residents Cope With 9/11 Fallout

On the eve of a renewed push for a government response to the health and economic needs of 9/11's heroes and the victims of its poisonous aftermath, experts and activists explain why so many feel frustrated and abandoned.

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The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.