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Case Study – Throughout this course, we have been analyzing the concept of “disability” and trying to understand what it means to be disabled. We have considered several approaches to forming a disability identity, and will begin to understand individual disability identities in the broader social and cultural systems in which they exist. This Case Study will challenge you to reconcile different disability identities with competing socio-cultural interests as you draw upon your readings in this course and your personal experiences: You represent the majority opinion of a city council charged with approving or rejecting a proposal from Corporation, Inc. that is before you. You have three weeks to investigate the proposal, hear arguments from your constituents, research the possible implications, and reach a consensus. You may refer to your course materials or outside materials to help you reach your decision.
The Proposal by Corporation, Inc. is: To develop an unused plot adjacent to downtown Cityville into a state-of-the-art recreational center and outdoor playground for the area’s youth population called FUNTOWN. Corporation, Inc. will incur all costs associated with this development, at no expense to the Cityville taxpayers. This lot has been vacant for many years, and the Cityville Council has not had any other offers to develop it. Cityville is a small town, and FUNTOWN would represent the only playground and recreational center for Cityville’s many children. However, because Cityville only has two residents under the age of 18 with physical disabilities, the proposal of Corporation, Inc. does not include making any of the activities in FUNTOWN accessible to children with disabilities. Corporation, Inc. says that the accessibility needed for wheelchair users would be very expensive and change the types of activities they could include in FUNTOWN. Corporation, Inc. also tells the Council that they will likely not develop FUNTOWN at all if they must make every aspect of FUNTOWN accessible to the town’s two young wheelchair-users. Instead, Corporation, Inc. proposes to create a separate, smaller disability-friendly playground on the ground floor of a near-by building and call this place SMILETIME. Corporation, Inc. tells the Cityville Council that SMILETIME will also be state-of-the-art, but because it is much smaller and in an already-existing building, it will keep their costs down.
As the Cityville Council, you must now decide what action to take with the Corporation, Inc. Proposal to build the FUNTOWN and SMILETIME facilities. Because we have not yet discussed all of the laws and legal implications of such a decision, you should feel free to leave it to the Cityville lawyers to decide whether your decision is legal or not.
Instead, as a city council, you should concentrate more on the ethical, social, and cultural implications of your decision. Will you approve or reject the proposal of Cityville?
How and why did you reach your decision?
1. Consider this Case Study and begin to list the implications and considerations of your decision:
a. What are the most challenging aspects of this decision? b. What are the implications of your decision that you are most concerned about? c. What details are missing that might make your decision easier? d. How will your citizens feel about both the pro and con decisions? Which citizens do you believe will support you?
Please include your recommendations to Corporation, Inc. based on your decision. What were the most difficult implications of your decision? How did your concept of disability identity inform your decision? Finally, what impact, if any, do you think your decision will have on the residents of Cityville, both disabled and non-disabled?
Responses should be at least 3 pages, not including the cover page and reference page, well-written, cover all aspects of the assignment, and include citations from course readings with proper citations on the Reference page.
There is no right or wrong answer. Rather, you will be graded on the quality of your analysis, your use of the course materials and sources to date, and your overall consideration of this difficult puzzle.