Ageism has been addressed and there have been many solutions made to help stop it. The ADA was established to stop the discrimination of the disabled, which many elderly people are. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) was established to protect workers 40 years of age or older from being fired because of their age and replaced with younger workers who presumably would receive lower salaries. None of these have been a miracle, but they have slowed down the discrimination of the elderly. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Meachan v. Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory stating that employers under ADEA had to prove that laying off older workers wasn’t based on age but “some reasonable factor” (Schaefer, 2012). Is the number of aging population expected to rise in numbers or decrease? The number of the aging population is expected to rise in numbers. According to The Demographics Of Aging (2009), today, one out of every 9 Americans is “old”—another former youth turns 50 every 8 seconds. Those age 65 and older now exceed 35 million, a number poised to explode. The upcoming aging population will be different from those of past decades. They will live longer, maintain better health and have more active life styles than previous generations. With the increase in the elderly population comes the need for more Social Security, disability and medical care.
This could affect the economy in a negative way. • What types of legislation may or may not be affected by the aging population? I think Bills will be affected by the aging population because they will need to be enforced more. There are many Bills and laws that have been passed for the equal rights and fair treatment of the elderly. There are many private and public bills that I am sure will be enforced more with the increase in the elderly population. With the rise of the elderly, there will be a rise in voting also. More elderly people vote during an election year than any other age group. These are the only two ways that I can think of that would be affected by the ageing population. How does poverty affect the ageing population? Many elderly people live right at the poverty level because of all the expenses they have. Prescriptions, doctor’s appointments, housing, etc. are all expenses that elderly people have to pay for every month. Most elderly people have insurance, such as Medicare, but this doesn’t always pay for all the medical expenses they incur. Poverty can affect the ageing population in negative ways. They can become stressed that they might not be able to pay all their bills, which can lead to health issues. If Social Security benefits did not exist, an estimated 44% of the elderly would be poor today, assuming no changes in behavior (Cawthorne, 2008).
There are many in the ageing population who are still working today because they don’t have the means to retire. With the downfall of the economy, many have to come out of retirement and become employed again because their government benefits aren’t enough. Part III • How have people with disabilities been treated in the past? The disabled population has been treated very unfairly in the past. They are discriminated against and are shown prejudice because of their state. Many were denied employment because of their disabilities and public venues didn’t have the proper means to accommodate a disabled person. Some disabled individuals were treated like they had a disease. They were given dirty looks or were stared at like they were a zoo animal.
The disabled were left in institutions or homes to live out the rest of their lives because no one wanted to “deal” with them. They weren’t given the same treatment as the non-disabled. There were also cases of parents of a disabled child being told they were better off “putting them out of their misery” because there weren’t very many resources available. All of this treatment led to the passing of laws and the creation of many organizations to help the disabled receive fair treatment. • How has the attitude toward people with disabilities changed over time? The attitude toward and treatment of people with disabilities has changed drastically over time.
Since the introduction of the ADA, which is the Americans with Disabilities Act, the disabled have been receiving equal rights and have been able to fight against discrimination. Almost every public venue has the means to accommodate the disabled, such as a wheelchair ramp or automatic opening doors. There are events now made specifically for the disabled so they can still be a part of their community, like the Special Olympics and charity events. My nephew has Down Syndrome and they have a special baseball league every summer that he participates in called the “Miracle League”. People are embraced more for their disabilities instead of being shunned.
There is much more technology available in order to keep the disabled active and social. Also, with the passing of the ADA, there are more disabled individuals gaining employment. Granted, the jobs they acquire aren’t top level executives, but they do provide them with a sense of security and pride. • What are some unique circumstances or issues encountered by people with disabilities? There are quite a few unique circumstances or issues that I can think of encountered by people with disabilities. If the disabled individual is in a wheelchair, they have many obstacles they have to overcome. They are the first to board an airplane since they take the longest to get on the plane.
When they go through metal detectors, they have to be wanded afterwards because they go off every time. Disabled individuals with any kind of physical disability have a harder time moving around places and enjoying the same recreational activities as a person without a physical disability. Individuals who are blind have braile on signs and also can’t enjoy the same activities that the seeing population can. Disabilities to me are a unique circumstance in itself that other individuals have to be kind and respectful about. • What is being done to address those issues? The ADA has been passed which prevents the discrimination of the disabled. They cannot be discriminated in the workforce, restaurants, transportation, etc.
There have been many disabled individuals who have fought with the basis of the ADA behind them. There are resources that can be used by the disabled in order to make their lives easier, such as wheelchair ramps. These things make the lives of the disabled much easier. There is also Social Security Disability available for those who cannot work and need the income to live. • What types of legislation have been introduced to address issues faced by people with disabilities? There are many types of legislation that have been introduced to help the disabled. The ADA, which I have already discussed in previous answers, protects the disabled from prejudice and discrimination.
The Developmental Disabilities Assistance & Bill of Rights Act (DD Act) ensures that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families have access to community-based services and supports to promote opportunities for independence, productivity and inclusion. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities. The Rehabilitation Act (Rehab Act) authorizes the formula grant programs of vocational rehabilitation, supported employment, independent living, and client assistance. It also authorizes a variety of training and service discretionary grants administered by the Rehabilitation Services Administration.