For people living with a disability in the United States, they are faced with discrimination, exclusion and segregation every day. From education, housing, work and daily routines, their lives are difficult at best due to the unaccepting culture of the U.S.
Although people with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities have the same basic rights as other citizens, including civil, legal and human rights, many are not afforded these opportunities and are still highly discriminated against.
While the federal government has made tremendous efforts in enforcing the laws, prejudices toward these individuals continue to plague America.
Societal prejudices in the U.S. continuously hold back disabled individuals from being fully integrated within society.
In many of the individual states of the U.S., the issues that surround disability and the need for services and programs have been causing problems between state governments and their citizens.
While the federal government controls the issues that follow educational laws for disabled individuals, state governments have a much bigger role when dealing with the issues and problems.
Through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) enacted in 1990, the federal government along with the states developed the goal of eliminating discrimination against individuals with disabilities.
While the creation of this law expanded the scope of protections and guaranteed equal opportunities for these individuals, state governments are still facing many issues related to disabled people.
Within intellectually and mentally disabled communities, one of the most important values is surrounded by the idea of feeling and becoming a part of the community and beginning to live independently. This goal is shared not only with these individuals but also with their families and advocates.
One of the major cornerstones of independence in the lives of people with disabilities is owning or renting a place of their own. However, through the years, housing for these individuals has become more problematic and has evolved into a housing crisis.
While the issue of housing is caused by many different factors including accessibility, affordability and the aging caregiver populations for disabled people, the biggest concern in the U.S. today is caused by the unavailability of programs and residential facilities. This is a huge issue due to the amount of disabled individuals in relation to the number of available spots in houses and programs throughout the nation.
Although many more programs and houses can be created and built for these individuals, the problem also stems from the ability of state and county governments and lawmakers to financially support disabled people.
While it’s the job of the state governments to obtain and acquire care and housing for these individuals, many disabled people are abused and given an unsuitable lack of care.
Within the state of Pennsylvania, the lack of care and housing issue is severe, yet state governments and counties do not seem to be dealing with it as a priority.
While the county provides the financial backing for disabled individuals to receive housing, boarding and health care aides, and although the county pays for individual aides to care for the disabled people, the programs do not realistically report to anyone within the state government or county.
Financial support, in the eyes of state and county governments, is not seen as a right but as a gift. For this reason, the state and county governments do not allow disabled individuals to leave their county and/or state with the financial support they receive at any time within that county and/or state.
While many people wonder why that would be an issue, the problem lies in the ability of the states and counties to find ample funding for disabled individuals. Many states do not supply an overwhelming amout of financial support for these American citizens.
While many citizens and lawmakers do not see a real issue afoot, this is a growing problem throughout the U.S.
The issues surrounding this fraction of the U.S. population will only continue to grow and prosper into more concerns, issues and downfalls, as disabled individuals cannot voice their opinion or protect themselves from abuse and wrongdoings.
While the U.S. government continues to disregard any problems involving disabled individuals and continues to create laws and orders that do not fix the problem but just comb over it, the U.S., as a whole, will never understand the true reality of any disabled person or the types of lives they might be leading.
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