Five Principles Of Social Justice
There are five main principles of social justice that are paramount to understanding the concept better. Namely, these are access to resources, equity, participation, diversity, and human rights.
1. Access to Resources
Access to resources is an important principle of social justice and refers to the extent to which different socioeconomic groups receive equal access to give everyone an equal start in life. Many societies offer a multitude of resources and services for their citizens, such as healthcareAffordable Care Act The Affordable Care Act , also known as Obamacare, is a healthcare reform that includes a list of provisions that open opportunities for Americans to, food, shelter, education, and recreational opportunities, but there often exists unequal access to such services.
For example, individuals from wealthy households among the upper and upper-middle classes are often better able to afford to attend good schools and access post-secondary education, which leads to a greater chance of obtaining jobs with higher income in the future, while those from the lower classes face fewer opportunities. It, in turn, limits access to education for future generations and continues the cycle of facing disadvantages.
Equity refers to how individuals are given tools specific to their needs and socioeconomic status in order to move towards similar outcomes. It contrasts with equality, where everyone is offered the same tools to move towards the same outcome.
Rawls Versus Youngs Theory Of Justice
Rawls theory of justice stems from the egalitarian and social contract tradition. It investigates the basic structure of a just society. Rawls defines justice as providing in the first instance a standard whereby the distributive aspects of the basic structure of society are to be assessed. According to Rawls , each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive system of equal basic liberties compatible with a similar system of liberty for all. Robeyns suggests that for Rawls, the basic structure of society is a combination of political and social institutions, a cooperative system that allows assignment of basic rights and duties that in turn regulate advantages from this same system. Within this framework, an examination of the basic societal structure allows us to accommodate issues of equality and freedom. Social structures, including laws, may constrain our choices and categorize our functions within a limited framework of mutual advantage.
What Does Discrimination On The Basis Of Disability Mean
Discrimination on the basis of disability means any distinction, exclusion or restriction on the basis of disability which has the purpose or effect of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal basis with others, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field. It includes all forms of discrimination, including denial of reasonable accommodation, states the UN.
Reasonable accommodation means the modification and adjustment in a particular case so that persons with disabilities can enjoy and exercise human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis.
An #actuallyautistic Tour Of The Spectrum
This workshop is a crash course on autism, the autistic community, and the neurodiversity movement. Led by an autistic self-advocate, this workshop will break down stereotypes and misconceptions about autism in order to help clarify who we are, what we think about ourselves, and how we perceive and interact with the world. It will also provide participants with the tools to support autistic friends and family and the language to advocate alongside us.
Presented by YCD Board Member and alumna Kierstin Miller
Character Counts: Not Judging People
Lets have a discussion about students who may be different than their peers. Using a hands-on demonstration, we will also talk about not labeling ourselves or one another. Not judging people is harder than it may seem do you have what it takes?
Presented by blind speaker and activist Emily Zimmerman
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What Does Social Justice Mean
Justice is the concept of fairness. Social justice is fairness as it manifests in society. That includes fairness in healthcare, employment, housing, and more. Discrimination and social justice are not compatible. While social justice as a term sees widespread use these days, its not new. It appears in The Federalist Papers and was most likely first used in the 1780s. As the Industrial Revolution wound down, American legal scholars applied the term to economics. Now, social justice applies to all aspects of society, including race and gender, and it is closely tied to human rights. More specifically, what does social justice mean?
Take a free course on Social Justice by top universities and NGOs
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Social Justices Poor Cousin: Disability Maid And Social Work
Social Workers and social work students pride themselves on being woke to social injustice, quick to respond to any real or perceived affront: calling out racism anti-trans actions, the latest affront to Indigenous people or injustice to women. Strange then that when a piece of legislation was recently passed that was near universally opposed by Canadian disability rights and disabled persons organizations, including BIPOC and Womens disability organizations, and condemned by two UN Special Rapporteurs on the Rights of Disabled Persons , not a peep was heard from social workers or virtually any other social justice group.
It is hard to imagine the reaction being so utterly absent if we were discussing any other equity group. No outraged statements, no study days, no demands for actionnada. This is not particularly surprising as disability has never been high on Canadian social works or social justice agendas. Yes it gets added to the mantric-like list of equity-seeking groups but more as that poor cousin who gets remembered at the last minute: Maya, Dick, Ranjit, Maryoh yeah, and Calvin.
The testimony of Québécois Jonathan Marchand to the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs powerfully sums up the situation many disabled persons find themselves confronted with:
Three Ways You As A Social Worker Can Meaningfully Work Towards Disability Justice
Submission to The Social Lens: A Social Work Action Blog by Community of Practice 5 as part of SOWK 550
Most social work organizations identify social justice as one of the foundational and defining values of the social work profession. For instance, in the preamble of The National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics, it is stated that social workers promote social justice and social change with and on behalf of clients . While seeking justice for marginalized clients and communities is generally understood as being the guiding principle of the profession, as Reisch notes, social workers are often unclear about how social justice is applied to their work in practice.
It is the purpose of this blog post to share with you our research, discussion, and subsequent understanding of how social workers might move towards social justice in their practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro level. For this blog post, we have decided to focus specifically on physical disability justice an area in which we all share a passion. Our exploration of disability justice has very much been guided by an anti-oppressive framework, which emphasizes intersectionality and the necessity to challenge larger systems that perpetuate injustices at the personal and cultural level . In approaching the following blog post in this way, we hope to emphasize and reflect the potential for this guides transferability in safe and meaningful engagement and work with other marginalized groups.
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How Does The Un Define A Person With A Disability
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was adopted in 2007 as the first major instrument of human rights in the 21st century, defines persons with disabilities as those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.
Disability Justice Student Initiative
The Disability Justice Student Initiative serves as a hub for communities of Disabled students. We explore disability as a social identity and a complex embodied experience through critical discourse, education, support, and connection. We bring disabled students together in community to challenge multiple intersecting systems that marginalize bodies and minds that differ from the societal norm.Disability Justice is a framework created by Disabled queer people and activists of color that:
- interrogates and directly challenges ableism in solidarity with intersecting oppressive structures and identity norms
- Recognizes that all bodies are unique and essential, have strengths and needs that must be met, and are powerful because of their complexities
- empowers all people to envision and build a world where communities at the margins create collective liberation
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The Origin Of Disability Justice
As explained by Patty Berne, the Co-Founder, Executive and Artistic Director of Sins Invalid and one of the people whose work and words informed the conceptualization of disability justice, the framework was a reaction to the ways that the US disability rights movement invisibilized the lives of peoples who lived at intersecting junctures of oppression disabled people of color, immigrants with disabilities, queers with disabilities, trans and gender non-conforming people with disabilities, people with disabilities who are houseless, people with disabilities who are incarcerated, people with disabilities who have had their ancestral lands stolen, amongst others.
Social Justice Towards Students With Disabilities
Today there are laws that guarantee the rights of people with disabilities and to help them not to be discriminated against, to receive the necessary accommodations at work and school, to receive specialized services to meet their educational needs and to receive a free and appropriate public education, unfortunately, none of these two require inclusion. Multiple investigations have shown that the inclusion of exceptional students in classrooms with students of the regular current is beneficial for all when the support systems and necessary resources are provided, high expectations are held, parents and the school community are involved, professional preparation for the staff, and the development and use of technology is supported.
The right to education has to do more than having the right to learn, to assist the development of each individual, therefore the only way to comply with this is that the educational system is oriented to operate on the basis of diversity. And that implies that the entire educational strategy is diversified according to the multiplicity of students and rhythms in cognitive development, learning speed, etc. This is very difficult since the educational system still works with a sense of homogenization especially in terms of educational strategy so it is a very difficult challenge to pass on to heterogeneity.
Did you like this example?
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Resources For Social Justice And Disability
Previously I posted on Social Justice and Disability Evaluating Materials and Media with Characters with Disabilities. I am back to share some other essential resources and sites to follow. After a divisive presidential campaign, where the elected official hasnt been forthcoming on stances in regards to disability issues this has raised concerns in the disabled community. Ambiguity has led to a sense of uncertainty. When it comes to social justice we need to be as informed as possible and empathetic as possible.
In the last post I posted a video from Annie Elainey. Again, because she discusses so many great things. Here she discusses Disability Identity and Language:
As she discusses, individuals have their own preferences on how they want to be identified whether it is person-first versus identity-first . She links to this article on the Autistic Self Advocacy Network that at the bottom has articles on both sides and some in between.
There are some other great Youtubers out there discussing their disabilities and issues around disability. That in itself requires its own post for The Hub. For now, check out these posts from Disability Now and Disability Thinking on Youtubers to follow.
The following is not a complete list of all the great websites out there talking about issues of social justice and disability. These are the few I have discovered that are excellent and to be paid attention:
What resources did I miss? Please add them in the comments.
Disability And Contemporary Social Contract Theories
Within social contract theories, a distinction is often drawn betweencontractarian/Hobbesian and contractualist/Lockean accounts . One way to characterize this distinction is in terms of theparties motivation and interaction. In the former, they arenarrowly self-interested and hard-bargaining in the latter, theirself-interest is tempered or balanced by their commitment tojustifying themselves to others, and they proceed by deliberatingrather than by bargaining. This distinction is often formulated interms of a distinction between rational agents, andreasonable agents.
A Rawlsian approach might seem more congenial than a Hobbesianapproach to people with disabilities. It derives the basic structureof society from a hypothetical choice situation, the OriginalPosition, in which a veil of ignorance precludes reliance on thecontractors actual limitationslimitations that aHobbesian contractor might ruthlessly exploit . Although the parties themselves are motivated exclusively byconsiderations of self-interest, which Rawls understands in terms ofthe fulfillment of two higher-order interests , the informational constraints of the Original Position compel theparties to motivate as if they are reasonable, at least inthe sense that it compels them to be impartial between the claims ofall who will be subject to the principles they choose.
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Contemporary Approaches To Social Justice
There exists no generally accepted concept or definition of justice, and descriptions of justice are often contradictory. The subject of justice is one of conflict and contest. Miller states that when talking about justice, we are talking about how the good and bad things in life should be distributed among the members of a human society. Capability theorists Pierik and Robeyns suggest Millers description of social justice is a viable definition on account of its simplicity and that such a simple definition could attract broader support. For example, a policy is described as unjust, Miller argues, when we claim that a person enjoys fewer advantages than that person or group of persons ought to enjoy , given how other members of the society in question are faring . Robeyns argues that theorists of justice primarily focus on the justice of social arrangements and institutions and that justice is often regarded as a matter of ethics rather than of political philosophy. However, Iris Young and other political philosophers disagree , and instead suggest that the very definition of oppression centers on injustices that a group of people suffer from as a means to further empower their oppressor.
Models Of Disability From The Perspective Of Justice
For persons with disabilities, justice is always contextualized within a framework of laws, landscapes, and social beliefs. Although these factors play out differently in different parts of the world, a steady stream of theorists working at the intersection of disability studies, critical theory, sociology, geography, economics, and philosophy have made major contributions to our understanding of disability as a social phenomenon, not simply a medical diagnosis. A few dominant models include the social model, the medical model, the Nagi model, the International Classification of Functioning, and the human rights model. All these models have been developed to answer, define, and shape our conception of disability. However, this variety of available models can also be problematic. Trani et al. note that it is well acknowledged in the literature that three relevant modelsthe individual or medical, the social model, and the biopsychosocial model based on the ICFlead to different and sometimes contradictory policy implications . Thus, the challenge now is how to best reconcile each and understand the process and outcomes inherent with each model. As will be further discussed, each model carries assumptions, costs, and benefits for individuals with disabilities and the broader environment within which they live.
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Organizations Advancing Disability Justice
YCD partners with numerous organizations to offer education and trainings for students on disability justice issues. Below are some of these groups we encourage you to look into what services, resources and information they can offer for a deeper exploration of disability justice.
Disability In Contemporary Theories Of Justice
The resurgence of philosophical interest in justice is often dated tothe publication of John RawlsA Theory of Justice in1971. Although that was only two years before the passage of theRehabilitation Act of 1973, embodying a social model of disability, it was well before the academic reconceptualization of disability asa social phenomenon. For the 25 years after A Theory ofJustice, many justice theorists tacitly accepted the medicalmodel . They treated disabilityas a physical or mental limitation of the individual, the principalcause of disability-related disadvantage. Disability thus posed aproblem for justice theories based on mutual advantage, hypotheticalagreement, or material or social equality. People with disabilitiesdid not appear to offer reciprocal advantages they complicated thetask of reaching a hypothetical agreement on the basic structure ofsociety and they made the goal of equality seem impossiblydemanding.
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Next Stage In Movement Evolution
Prior to the Disability Rights Movement, if people with disabilities were mistreated, there were no legal repercussions. Most public places werent accessible and it was expected disabled people would not participate in society. There was important historic work done by disabled people and allies to develop disability rights in the U.S., and it had many successes in advancing a philosophy of independent living and opening possibilities for people with disabilities. The US Disability Rights Movement established civil rights for people with disabilities. Like other movements, the current Disability Rights Movement includes advocacy organizations, service provision agencies, constituency-led centers, membership-based national organizations, as well as cultural and academic spaces.
And, like many movements, it is a product of its time and left us with some cliff- hangers that have yet to be resolved.
Disability rights is based in a single-issue identity, focusing exclusively on disability at the expense of other intersections of race, gender, sexuality, age, immigration status, religion, etc.
Its leadership has historically centered white experiences and doesnt address the ways white disabled people can still wield privilege.
It centers people with mobility impairments, marginalizing other types of disability and/or impairment.
A disability justice framework understands that: