The Forgotten Fifth
Twenty percent of all Americans live with a disability. These disabled Americans are mostly invisible in our society – The Forgotten Fifth. They face discrimination and segregation daily in ways that are hard to believe. They don’t even have rights that you and I take for granted.
As of 2019:
- The American Dental Association changed their ethics guidelines to require dentists to serve people with disabilities.
- Congress has not decided to move on a bill to make it illegal to use physical and mechanical restraints and seclusion on kids with disabilities in schools.
- This occurs today in most states and affects hundreds of thousands of kids.
- Seclusion can mean locking a kid in a dark, padded phone booth sized room for hours.
- California just banned restraints and seclusion in late 2018.
- The FDA is finalizing a ban on electric shock devices for use on kids with disabilities, not because they are inhumane, but because they “aren’t effective”.
- People with disabilities are not necessarily receiving organ donations.
- People with disabilities can be negatively impacted by getting married or being employed, as they may forfeit their disability benefits.
- Boys with developmental disabilities are 5 times more likely than other boys to be victims of sexual assault.
- Girls – 8 times more likely to be victims of sexual assaults.
- 49% of sexual assaults against youth with disabilities are by paid support staff.
- Employment rate for all disabilities is <34%, developmental disabilities is < 14% (California)
- The same law that gives you and me minimum wage protection explicitly excludes people with disabilities.
- Average wages (in California in 2012, the last year for which there is published data)
- 3.1% earned $9.50/hr
- 3.7% earned $6/hr
- 93% not working or in “sheltered” services
For Education in California
Fewer than 14% are performing at or above grade level in English, <11% in Math.
For students with significant disabilities 35.3% graduation rate, 22.8% “certificate of completion”, 41.8% drop out or age out of public education.