All too often, socialists, like others, have regarded disability as a personal tragedy. Left publications rarely discuss it or debate it and activism by people with disabilities has been ignored by the left, notwithstanding the fact that Americans with disabilities are among the most marginalized of citizens in terms of income level and poverty rates.
When Antonio Gramsci gave his maiden speech in Parliament in May of 1925, many of the other deputies left their seats and thronged around him in order to hear the faint voice coming from his compressed chest.
While employment issues have always been an important aspect of disability policy, a focus on paid and formal employment has meant that the experience of many working-age adults with intellectual disabilities has been overlooked. Many erroneously believe the historic absence of persons with intellectual disabilities in the workplace is evidence that persons with intellectual disabilities cannot or do not work.
A recent article in the British Observer by Ian Birrell discussed an ominous development that has historical connotations. “The demonization of the disabled is a sign of the times” outlined how more and more British disabled people are being increasingly subjected to bullying and hate crime.