Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Handicapped Poor in America Essay -- Disabled Poverty

In The Working Poor, David Shipler relates the plight of the invisible poor in America, sharing the stories of laborers across the nation who work but cannot get a firm grip on the slippery surface of the American dream. Shipler also touches on, but does not fully explore, the even thornier path of the disabled, impoverished individual in America. Although a relatively large segment of the population (10-20 percent of the United States population is disabled), the disabled poor encounter setbacks in their struggle to succeed in a world where one’s worth is often judged by one’s economic and educational attainment. A blind and impoverished woman from Eastern Europe directly states that the disabled poor "depend on everyone; no one wants us. We are like garbage that everyone wants to get rid of" (Wolfensohn 1). Far from the thoughts of many in the social hierarchy, including the healthy working poor, the disabled poor face numerous obstacles in their path towards a stable income above the poverty line. Addressing the problem of helping disabled individuals through legislation becomes difficult because definitions of disability differ. Some may argue that depression is not a disability because not only is it difficult to prove that an individual is afflicted with it, but it is also questionable whether it is the cause of their unemployment. Asthma may not be considered a disability for a child in the suburbs, who, with the help of an inhaler, may play soccer without suffering, but chronic, untreated asthma can be debilitating for a child living in poverty and, according to the American Lung Association, â€Å"can be a life-threatening disease if not properly managed.† The government defines disability as having a â€Å"physical or m... ... > U.S. Census Bureau: American Fact Finder. â€Å"Sex by Age by Disability by Employment Status for the Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population 5 Years and Over.† ds_name=ACS_2003_EST_G00_&-redoLog=false&- mt_name=ACS_2003_EST_G2000_P059>. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. â€Å"Child Health USA 2003†. . U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. â€Å"Disability Among Women on AFDC: An Issue Revisited.† 1993. . U.S. Department of Labor. â€Å"The United States Department of Labor Homepage, Secretary of State Elaine L. Chao.† . The University of New Mexico Center for Development and Disability. .

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