Separation of Persons with Disabilities Equals Subordination

On May 18, 1896, the U. S. Supreme Court decided that state laws the “separate but equal” doctrine requiring racial segregation in private business was constitutional. (Plessy v. Ferguson) On May 17, 1954, the Court decided that state laws which established separate public schools for black and white children, were unconstitutional, declaring that “separate but equal facilities are inherently unequal”. (Brown v. Board of Education)

The essential point of the Brown decision was that separation maintained children of color in a subordinate status, no matter what the condition of the separate school facilities.

I believe that the same doctrine applies to the separation of children and adults in all aspects of our common life. Separation means an unequal access to community resources, opportunities to improve one’s lot in life, and the kind of social networks that support people emotionally and financially.

Full community participation is a vehicle to overcome this subordinate status.

George Martin