People with Disabilities

Anita Silvers

in The Oxford Handbook of Practical Ethics

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780199284238
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

People with Disabilities


This article focuses on the disability problem and the rights of the disabled people for a dignified existence. The system of removing people from the community because they are disabled took hold in the USA in the middle of the nineteenth century. Before 1820, disabled people stayed with their families or found places elsewhere in their immediate communities. During the following forty years, however, residential schools meant to train these individuals so that they could be more productive sprang up, supported by charitable donations and government funds. Up until the US Civil War, these institutions focused on improving the skills and therefore the productivity of corporeally or cognitively impaired people, and on giving them access to the Bible and therefore to the word of God, with the goal of returning them to the community to earn their own livings.

Keywords: disability problem; rights of the disabled; US Civil War; productivity; cognitive impairement; skills

Article.  12988 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Moral Philosophy

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