No Pity Summary

1238 Words5 Pages
No Pity is a difficult book to discuss or review briefly. Joseph Shapiro, a journalist who has written extensively on the disability rights movement, gives us a sweeping look at the changes people with disabilities have experienced over the last several decades, both in terms of legal rights and the perceptions of others. Although much has changed since No Pity was published in 1993, Shapiro captures the biggest changes of the 20th century, especially leading up to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. One of the major themes of the book, whether Shapiro is talking about people with blindness, deafness, paraplegia, or other disabilities, is disability as identity. As the title implies, the disabled rights movement…show more content…
The parallels to the civil rights movement, including sit-ins and protests, are striking. "The Deaf Celebration of Separate Culture": Deaf students' protesting the hiring of a hearing president of Gallaudet University led to greater awareness of and civil rights protection for disabled people. For decades, only hearing teachers were hired to teach deaf students; sign language was discouraged. "A Hidden Army for Civil Rights": Background on the passage of the ADA. "Integration: Out of the Shadowland": The decline of institutionalization and segregated education for students with disabilities and increasing integration. Economically, integration is much less expensive than separate schools. More work to be done here, for sure. . . . "People first": Self-advocacy and independence for people with intellectual disabilities. "The Screaming Neon Wheelchair": The changing market for wheelchairs and other assistive technology. People with disabilities are not "confined to a wheelchair." They are liberated by their wheelchairs. Other forms of assistive technology similarly liberate people with disabilities. "Up from the Nursing Home": Tragically, some people with disabilities are stuck in nursing homes, where, at best, their needs are not adequately met, and, at worst, they are abused and neglected. "No Less Worthy a Life": A difficult chapter. How do you measure quality of life? How do you determine whether an individual has the right to end his own life? How can care-giving and life-improving technology help a disabled person feel that his life is valuable and worth living? "Crossing the Luck Line": When people don't fit our labels and categories, they can be overlooked and end up in settings where they don't belong, missing
Open Document