Disability Is Natural Books and Media

Separate and Unequal

You have no idea, sir, how difficult it is to be the victim of benevolence. Jane Aiken Hodge

In the middle of the 20th Century, parents filed right-to-education lawsuits to end educational discrimination based on skin color. Their efforts led to the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision when the Supreme Court ruled that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” Seventeen years later, other parents filed lawsuits to end educational discrimination based on disability . . . [this] got the attention of the Federal government, and special ed law (P.L. 94-142, now Individuals with Disabilities Education Act-IDEA), was the result.

Sadly, too many students with disabilities are still being educated in separate classrooms or buildings, despite the Brown decision and despite the provisions in IDEA that call for education in the least restrictive environment.  And this topic has been covered in articles already written, and some yet to come.

This article focuses, instead, on segregated sports and other activities that are separate and unequal, and that can have profoundly negative effects not only on participants, but on our society as a whole. ​Click here to continue.


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