Last week, The Arc issued a statement calling for an end to the systemic racism and discrimination against people of color which, unfortunately, still exists in our country. We were heartened to see many chapters issue their own statements or share the statement we released. However, one chapter leader questioned why The Arc, a disability organization, should be speaking out about race. Perhaps you have encountered that question as well. The answer, in short, is that disability rights and racial equity are inextricably intertwined.
These recent events should lead us to reflect on how racism and discrimination play out in the disability community. Consider these examples:
Labor force participation is lower for Black people with disabilities (17.7%) compared to those who are white (21%)
Black children with disabilities lose more days of instruction from school suspension (121 days/100 students), compared to white students with disabilities (43 days/100 students)
25% of Black students with disabilities never graduate high school, compared to 16% of non-Hispanic white students
The cumulative probability of arrest by age 28 is 55.17 for Black individuals with disabilities, compared to 39.7 for white individuals with disabilities
And these are only a few of the disparities that exist in the disability community. It's time to reflect, as well, on what more we can and should be doing. Standing up in support of people's rights, and against hate and discrimination in its many different forms, is part and parcel of what disability rights is all about. What do you think? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need a Break?
Through a grant to the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS), funds were approved to provide respite care vouchers to eligible family caregivers. These vouchers may be used to pay an in-home care agency, an Adult Day Center, or a private individual to provide respite care.