In David Birnbaum’s “The Catbird Seat”, the author gives his readers his perspective of a handicapped person’s experiences (228). Birnbaum lost the use of this legs during a car accident and is now only able to move through the use of a wheelchair (Kirszner, Mandell 228). Although Birnbaum’s disability is physical, “Disabilities can manifest as a physical or cognitive issue, coming from a range of factors – genetics, accident, external circumstances, or advancing age”(Bowman 6); therefore, most people who have a disability are not born with it and in some situations a disability can be eliminated with medical treatment and surgeries (6). According to Kirszner and Mandell, writers of “Patterns for College Writing”, “Approximately 19 percent of Americans, representing about 49 million people, have some form of disability, and almost half of these are considered severely disabled” (228); this statement illustrates how many disabled people there are in the United states and how large those numbers are. The large number of disabled people in the United States prompted the government to issue the Disabilities Act in 1990 which “requires reasonable accommodation be made in areas of educational opportunity, employment, government serves, and access to businesses open to the general public, and further prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities” (Kirszner, Mandell 228). Birnbaum not only addresses that discrimination from other’s because he is in a wheelchair, but he also describes the pity that people feel towards him because of the position that he is in (228). One situation that Birnbaum describes happening...
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...describes people who are overly nice to him because of his condition; whereas, he also describes people who abide by the pecking order and treat the disabled however they believe they should be treated depending the extent of their condition (228-230). Both of these types of people can be offensive to a disabled person because they are being treated differently than they would if they were not disabled. Tobin Sieber’s describes the human body as fragile, and he says that people are incapable of knowing the longevity of their life (179).
In conclusion, the discrimination of the disabled has become evident not only in hate but also to a point of too much accommodation. Again, I do not believe that all disabled people have taken advantage of the system, but I do believe that there is a chance that someone will and our government has to be able to keep our nation safe.
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