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Week 8 Eth/125

In: Social Issues

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Words 1547
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Appendix I
Part I

Define the following terms:

Term Definition
Ageism A tendency to regard older persons as debilitated, unworthy of attention, or unsuitable for employment.
Baby boomer A person born during a baby boom, especially one born in the U.S. between 1946 and 1965.
Americans with Disabilities Act A law enacted by President Bush in 1990 and Amended in 2009 that gives protection and rights to those with disabilities. It is a wide and ranging set of laws that is similar to the Civil Rights acts of 1964
Visitability An international movement to change home construction practices to include three basic features. A zero step entrance to the home with access to the driveway or public sidewalk, at least 31 ¾ inch doorways, and at least a half bath on the ground floor of multi-tiered homes. Similar to Universal Design but more focused on social reform intent.
Accessibility Easily approached or entered. Providing access.
Disability inability to pursue an occupation because of a physical or mental impairment or a program providing financial support to one affected by disability
Inclusion the act or practice of including students with disabilities in regular school classes also a relation between two classes that exists when all members of the first are also members of the second — compare
Deinstitutionalization the release of institutionalized individuals from institutional care to care in the community also the reform or modification of an institution to remove or disguise its institutional character
Special education classes or instruction designed for students with special educational needs

Part II

Identify 2 or 3 issues faced by the aging population.

1. Employment Concerns
2. Limited or Inadequate retirement resources
3. Social Security

Answer the following questions in 150 to 250 words each:

• What is being done to address the issues you identified? Today as the baby boomer generation is entering their 50’s there is much concern for the effects of ageism at the workplace. AARP and many other agencies have lobbied and many laws have been enacted to prevent ageism in the workplace. There are federal laws as well as separate state laws that prevent age discrimination in the workplace. AARP is one of the most avid and outspoken sources for information on ageism and many other topics concerning those 50 and over. Today their work helps enact laws all across the country to protect the rights of those over 50. Another key issue that AARP is fighting to preserve is the Social security program as well as Medicare. They are steadfast in their fight to ensure that everyone who has paid into Medicaid and Medicare as well as social security gets the benefits of their investments. While many legislators are trying to cut budgets they are constantly lobbying to protect the rights of the elderly as well as the soon to retire. Many private companies are also there to help people with free investment advice and with ways to stretch their retirement budgets. Also new laws and programs like the reverse mortgage which I am against but many people utilize in order to fund a longer lifespan.

Is the number of gaining population expected to rise in numbers or decrease? I think this question is asking if the ageing population is due to increase and based on this article I found
“Contemporary issues facing aging Americans: implications for rehabilitation and mental health counseling by Charlotte G. Dixon, Michael Richard, Carolyn W. Rollins they show some alarming facts

“ Persons 85 and older constitute the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population and are projected to double to more than 70 million by 2030 (Administration on Aging, 2000). “ They also estimate the current baby boomer population to be somewhere around 75 million people.



What types of legislation may or may not be affected by the aging population? This same article goes on to state that because of the focus on education and political involvement during the baby boomer generation that we will see an increased focus on anti-ageing legislation. They quote other authors in their paper “aageism will not be easily tolerated by tomorrow's older population" (Silverstone, 1996, p. 29) and consequently, is projected that the number of age discrimination claims will increase significantly (Stansky, 1997).”


• How does poverty affect the ageing population? Many people will not get the chance at traditional retirement. Because many workers reaching retirement age are minorities that migrated to the states later in life and did not hold traditional pension bearing jobs we will see and increasing segment of the population that is living below their means of supporting themselves. Many people worked jobs that did not allow them to save on their own and social security is their only means of support. For single women who may have left their husbands or never married they too run the risk of not having enough quarters to participate in social security or if they can participate because of the low paying jobs they held it is not sufficient to retire on. This creates a class of workers that have to work in order to maintain their living standards that are no longer qualified for the jobs they have traditionally held. With increased health costs it is something that will be the topic of future legislation as many law makers try and reform social security and medical programs.

Part III

Answer the following questions in 150 to 250 words each:

• How have people with disabilities been treated in the past? Throughout history people with congenital disabilities or those that were disabled later in life have always been a stigma. Generally if their families had the money to pay for their care they were institutionalized. Those that didn’t either had to suffer for themselves or were left to die. In the mid to late 1700s the first homes for the handicapped emerged in France with Jean-Marc Itard being credited with the creation of one of the first programs especially for the handicapped. Throughout the 1800’s in the united states there was mixed sentiment over how to deal with the handicapped. Dorthea Dix advocated improving treatment in the asylums and poor houses and Samuel Howe created the Perkins Institution a home originally for the blind but he added a wing to help deal with mental handicapped patients as well. Hervey Wilbur is credited in the same year 1848 with creating the first private institution in his home. There was a movement in the later parts of 1800’s towards Eugenics and the fact that mental incapacities were genetic disorders that led to sterilization laws and the subsequent sterilization of some 42000 people between 1907-1944. This practice continued and another 22000 people were sterilized between 1943 and 1963. Gradually these policies shifted especially with John F. Kennedy’s creation of The Presidents Panel on Mental Retardation. Also the military got involved when returning soldiers were being mistreated after world war 1 and 2 The Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1920 helped some mentally handicapped patients but only those that had suffered injury not genetic disabilities.

• How has the attitude toward people with disabilities changed over time? Over time the attitudes have changed and over the last 40 years around the world has seen an increased focus on early intervention, community-based rehabilitation, definition and diagnosis, human rights, and legislation, with particular stress on deinstitutionalization. Reporters like Geraldo Rivera especially set the tone of just what was going on behind closed doors with his 1971 and 1972 investigation into the Willow brook state school in New York. It was 6 years after Kennedy wrote of the deplorable conditions there after his visit in 1966. Now the focus has shifted to compassionate care, educational opportunities, and inclusion in normal activities both in school and in the community as well.

• What are some unique circumstances or issues encountered by people with disabilities?
Many people with disabilities go on to lead successful rewarding lives. We see constant tales of recovering veterans running marathons and participating in triathlons. There are Siamese twins that share hearts and brains that can drive and attend school and play sports. I think each person is unique in their disability and experiences but now because of the shift in society and the laws to prevent discrimination people born into adversity or cast into it through injury have a good chance of leading a normal life. I think access to education and access in general are key to making sure everyone has the chance they deserve.

• What is being done to address those issues? With the amendments in 1990 and 2009 many laws are out there to protect the disabled. The military is focused on making reentry to society after our veterans come home easier and the focus is on rehabilitation rather than institutionalization. I think with the help of organizations like Special Olympics, Para Olympics, wounded warriors and others our disabled citizens have the best access to care and equality that they have ever had.

• What types of legislation have been introduced to address issues faced by people with disabilities? The ADA acts of 1990 and 2009 are the key to giving those with disabilities their freedom and inclusion they deserve. These acts make it a law to provide access to those with disabilities to public spa

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