How disabled is disabled enough? It's a short question that can be plagued with a variety of different meanings and interpretations. However, the answer to the question is of extreme importance, because while being 'disabled' can provide benefits for some, not being 'disabled enough', can cause an immense struggle for others. Although the question of whether someone is considered 'disabled' is important for many reasons, it is especially prevalent in the case of employment, receiving governmental disability support payments, perceptions of others and trying to seek assistance (including that of service dogs). This question arises out of a still prevalent medical model in society that categorizes those with disabilities based on biological traits, rather than looking at the contributing social factors such as barriers, negative attitudes, etc. Disabilities In the Workplace According to the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, in the case where an employee living with disability needs to defend against discrimination in the workplace they, "can be too 'disabled' to get a job, but not 'disabled' enough to challenge the adverse action by the employer." For example in the case of Williams vs. Toyota, a lady with carpal tunnel syndrome was requesting additional supports to continue to work at a manufacturing plant, as she was having difficulties lifting and performing manual tasks in the workplace. However, unfortunately she was not granted her request because according to the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), since she was still able to perform major life activities such as showering, eating, etc. she was not 'truly disabled'. In this instance, she was 'too disabled' to perform her work comfortably, yet not 'disabled enough' to receive the supports she needed, according to the ADA. Withers states so eloquently in their book Disability, Politics and Theory (2012) that this is troubling as, "we are disabled if those in power say we are. This is an identity that is fully out of our control (p.113)." Therefore, if a doctor, employer, the law or someone else in power says that someone is not disabled, they are not disabled. This often trumps a person's experience, leading to an ability to access the resources that they need. Going back to the case above, even though Williams felt that her carpal tunnel was making her work extremely difficult, something she thought could be alleviated with particular supports, since she did not fall under the strict regulations of the ADA, she was not
New Facility will enable Semper K9 to reach more veterans, rescue more dogs.
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For the 11th year in a row, the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists and StokesRX are partnering to provide FREE eye exams to eligible Assistance Animals, Service Dogs, and Working Dogs.
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