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The Disability-Industrial Complex

According to “talk on the street,” more money is the solution to the “problems” faced by people with disabilities. Voices from both sides (those who provide services and those who receive services) say the same words: more funding is the answer. Yet billions are already being spent in what we should recognize as the Disability-Industrial Complex.

Many of us, regardless of which side we’re on (provider/recipient), don’t see disability services as a business. In the big scheme of things, they represent “human services,” provided by government entities, for-profit corporations, and/or non-profit charities.  But make no mistake, it is big business, and people with disabilities are the raw material that fuels the growth of this behemoth industry. And, unfortunately, disability services have adopted the for-profit business model used by companies that sell products.​ Click here to continue.

On a regular basis, just like businesses in the Real World, those in the Disability-Industrial Complex  proudly crow about their growth: an increase in the number of people receiving services and/or number of programs/services offered. And while this may represent success for the organization, it certainly does not symbolize success for the people on the receiving end of services. Instead, it represents an increase in the number of people who have been made dependent on the organization!

Kathie Snow