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Challenging Disability - Book Report/Review Example

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Martha Minnow (1990), in her book "Making All the Difference: inclusion, Exclusion and American Law" is faced with a dilemma. When people are treated differently, their difference is emphasized; this hinders their progress as they are made to feel inadequate…
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Challenging Disability
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"Challenging Disability"

Download file to see previous pages Disability is hard to define as it has the two different conditions of the mind and body. In addition to this, there is no clear cut difference between ability and disability. According to Universities of Kansas Medical Centre, "Disability may be defined as a mental impairment, which substantially limits one or more major life activities. Impairments include any psychological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement or anatomical loss affecting one or more systems of the body or any mental or psychological disorder such as mental impairment."
Legally, there is no standard way of defining disability. However according to the American Justice system, it may be defined as "physical or mental disablement that, in the opinion of the court, results in a person lacking, wholly or partly the competence to manage his/her affairs." Clearly, people who are disabled are different from the remaining members of society who are considered normal.
"When does treating people differently emphasize their difference and stigmatize or hinder them., and when does treating people the same become insensitive to their difference and likely to stigmatize or hi...
n though this may lead to stigmatization based on emphasis of their differences or should the various disabilities in people be noted and addressed since ignoring them may only lead to poor development in the individuals due to these differences. For example a visually challenged individual should undergo special education as opposed to going through the normal education system. Lack of this would lead to dependence on other normal individuals for the rest of the individual's life.
It is common knowledge that disabled in the society are discriminated against in nearly every society. According to Eisner, J. Discrimination is experienced on a day to day basis in the society. It mainly rotates around the norms and values that have been internalized by the society over a given period of time. Minnow looks at how the legal system internalizes and applies the presumptions of the society as it seeks to address the various concerns presented to it by the so called "the different" in the society. The society has classified different individuals based on their respective statuses.
When a person who is marginalized goes through the legal system to seek legal redress, the court may either order special treatment of the individual's case or may view it as a normal case requiring no special treatment, just like that of any ordinary person. The two options, however, are not conclusive.
When two or more unequal individuals are treated equally, the causes of the inequality are ignored. On the other hand, when you give preferential treatment to the one who has special needs, it may be understood that it's the difference that lead to the inequality in the first place. These two cases form the basis of the dilemma of difference. According to Minow, the dilemma is not natural, but is as a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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