Sunday, January 02, 2005

Bringing "The Welfare Reform Revolution" To People With Disabilities?

Noted conservative columnist Rich Lowry argues for such a development in this article.

One of the themes of my recent writing has been the intersection between welfare law and disability rights law. In particular, I've been taken by the way in which disability rights activists have made common cause with welfare-reform conservatives in pursuing policies that, instead of maintaining people with disabilities on the public dole, seek to promote work and community participation. The ADA, I've somewhat controversially argued, is a product of just such an alliance. As issues like personal assistance come to the forefront of disability rights advocacy, there is a clear potential for an across-the-aisles coalition to support voucher-type programs to enable people with disabilities to pay for the services they believe they need, from providers they choose and trust. As I've also argued, however, there is a possible dark side to all this: To the extent that policy too fully incorporates the privatization agenda of voucher advocates, people with disabilities may end up with insufficient benefits, and ineffective services, to achieve the independence disability rights activists advocate.

President Bush's rhetoric about an "ownership society" thus creates real opportunities and threats for disability rights activists. Lowry's article possibly gives us a taste of what's in store.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home