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No Pity – by Joseph P Shapiro Description:



No Pity – Jerrys Kids. The Special Olympics. A blind person with a bundle of pencils in one hand and a tin cup in the other. An old woman being helped across the street by a Boy Scout. The poster child struggling bravely to walk. The meager embittered life of the wheelchair-bound. For most Americans these are the familiar comfortable images of the disabled: benign helpless even heroic struggling against all odds and grateful for the kindness of strangers. Yet no set of images could be more repellent to people with disabilities. In No Pity: People with Disabilities Forging a New Civil Rights Movement Joe Shapiro of U.S. News and World Report tells of a political awakening few nondisabled Americans have even imagined. There are over 43 million disabled people in this country alone; for decades most of them have been thought incapable of working caring for themselves or contributing to society. But during the last twenty-live years they along with their parents and families have begun to recognize that paraplegia retardation deafness blindness AIDS autism or any of the hundreds of other chronic illnesses and disabilities that differentiate them from the able-bodied are not tragic. The real tragedy is prejudice our societys and the medical establishments refusal to recognize that the disabled person is entitled to every right and privilege America can offer. No Pitys chronicle of disabled peoples struggle for inclusion from the seventeenth-century deaf communities on Marthas Vineyard to the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992 is only part of the story. Joe Shapiros five years of in-depth reporting have uncovered many personal stories as well. You willread of Larry McAfee; most Americans assuming that a quadriplegics life was not worth living supported his decision to commit suicide rather than cope with a system that denied him the right to work or make his own decisions. Here too is the story of Nancy Cleaveland a fif No Pity – by Joseph P Shapiro