Ignored, Shunned, and Invisible: How the Label Retarded Has Denied Freedom and Dignity to Millions
By: J. David Smith (author)Hardback
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Historically, segregation and social isolation have been recurring responses to people considered defective or deficient in some way. And it is in the midst of such a society that special educator J. David Smith wrote this book, which presents critical historical and contemporary issues in mental retardation. Told through gripping vignettes and interwoven with the story of the life of John Lovelace, a man labeled mentally retarded as a child then institutionalized and sterilized, this gripping text will make all readers reconsider not only our social policies and practices, but also our personal actions, in relation to people with mental retardation. Topics covered here include an examination of ways people have been misidentified as having disabilities, then needlessly warehoused in institutions. Coupled with the tragic story of John Lovelace, this book is one that will be long remembered by its readers, and will ideally spur them to action. This book offers new directions for the field of mental retardation, including conceptual and terminology changes regarding intellectual disabilities, and new thinking about the people whose lives have been altered by the term and the concept.
Insights from parents, friends, teachers, and varied special education experts are included, as is the strong view of author Smith, who befriended Lovelace. He was often ignored, regularly avoided and treated as less than a person, as invisible, explains Smith. And Lovelace is the metaphorical island to which each chapter here returns, a vivid example of the denial of freedom and dignity to people who bear an intellectually inferior label. In the end, we see how society can promote values that inspire and challenge us to create humane and just treatment for all, or we can just look the other way when facing disturbing human needs.
J. David Smith is Professor of Special Education and Chair of the Department of Specialized Education Services at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Smith is the author of 13 books. One of the integrating themes of his research and writing has been a concern for the rights and dignity of people with disabilities. He also has a particular interest in the history of intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Dedication Acknowledgements Preface Introduction: Speaking of Mental Retardation Ch 1: What are You Going to Do About It? Ch 2: Minimally Decent Samaritans Ch 3: Feebleminded: John Lovelace, Patient #6839 Ch 4: Patient is Full Code Ch 5: Becoming Invisible Ch 6: Broken Ties: Addressee Unknown Ch 7: Looking Back, Looking Forward Ch 8: Headaches, Smoking, and Fights: Leaving the Home Ch 9: Defining Disability Up and Down Ch 10: John Lovelace and the Mercantile Theory of Mental Retardation Ch 11: Darwins Last Child: Disability, Family and Friends Ch 12: Fairview is Nice to Me Ch 13: Ethics, Powerlessness and Informed Consent Ch 14: Blindness and Finding Yourself in Purgatory Ch 15: Policies, People and No Room at the Graveyard Epliogue
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- ID: 9780313355387
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