Disability, priority, and social justice

Richard J. Arneson version 7/27/99 Is having a disability more like being a member of a racially stigmatized group or like lacking a talent? Both analogies might be apt. The Americans with Disabilities Act stresses the former analogy. The framing thought is that people with disabilities are objects of prejudice and prejudiced behaviors which wrongfully exclude them from participation in important social practices such as the labor market. Think for example of a blind person whose job applications are always automatically rejected because she is blind and without any consideration of her aptitude for this or that specific job. Such a person suffers wrongful discrimination and is denied equality of opportunity.
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