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Disability Throughout History April 15 th, 2008. 2 Models In present day there are evidence of all models throughout society Throughout history different.

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Presentation on theme: "Disability Throughout History April 15 th, 2008. 2 Models In present day there are evidence of all models throughout society Throughout history different."— Presentation transcript:

1 Disability Throughout History April 15 th, 2008

2 2 Models In present day there are evidence of all models throughout society Throughout history different models of disability have been highlighted

3 3 Let’s begin with Greek and Roman Times… Get reading for possibly the quickest trip through history you’ve ever been on….

4 4 Greek and Roman Times This is the time of: Infanticide Exposed “deformed” infants  Not universal practice  Variations from species “norm” Fear of the gods Birth defects as omen  Gods are displeased with some wrongdoing  Sacrificed as appeasement

5 5 Greece Aristotle’s Politics (350BC) Utopian, ideal leaders, beauty “Deformed shall not be reared” Impossible ideals Aristotle, Generation of Animals Female as “mutilated male” (less heat, so less perfectly formed) “Monstrous” births (inhuman form) explained by natural causes

6 6 Greece & Rome Roman laws deny rights to the deaf & mentally disabled because they are seen as irrational Military medicine & support for wounded veterans. Hippocratic medicine (450BC-1600AD) Imbalance of 4 body “humors” is the natural cause of epilepsy, melancholy, etc.

7 7 Judeo-Christian Traditions Old Testament: Leviticus List of disabled people who must be excluded from rituals; don’t defile the divine with impurity Bear the burden of sin New Testament Jesus encounters the sick, blind Disability becomes a target of charity

8 8 Medieval Europe One large category of “misfortune” Poverty, illness, & disabilities All seen as inevitable Part of God’s diverse creation (Saint Augustine 400AD) Disabilities = God’s power over the natural world Salvation of the rich thru gifts to poor Small “hospices” Hotel-Dieu (651 AD in Paris) not medical role 19,000 leprosariums; leprosy shunned. Begging as occupation License, guilds, competition Children deliberately maimed for profit or taught to fake

9 9 Middle Ages 4 th – 16 th C. Family - Center of activities Monasteries – Refuge for blind 1330 – Bethlehem – Oldest Mental Institution in Europe Rampant Poverty - Begging

10 10 Middle Ages 1348 Black Death Social disorder & fear Scapegoat was the poor Medieval & Renaissance royal court amusement Jester/dwarf, fool/idiot, epileptic, conjoined twins as objects of ridicule; bought as gifts, pets. Royalty display their “curiosity” collections.

11 11 Monsters as “unnatural”: stories, wonders, moral symbols through the ages

12 12

13 13 Middle Ages 1388 The Statute of Cambridge ("Poor Law") distinguished between "sturdy beggars” capable of work "impotent beggars“ (not able) incapacitated by age or infirmity No special provision for maintaining the sick poor. For the next two centuries the aged and infirm depended upon charity for survival.

14 14 Religion (Protestant & Catholic) Disability as sin Demonic seizures. Birth defects tied to witchcraft. Martin Luther 1517 mentally disabled have no soul & should be killed. Faith healing 1495 Miracle of Cosmas and Damian (saints transplant leg)

15 15 Middle Ages 1484 Pope Innocent VIII proclaimed a war against witches next 300 years=100,000 witch trials. mental illness was treated by tying up people in church other disabilities had the sign of the cross shaved into their heads.

16 16 Early modern Europe (16-17C): 1601 English Poor Law First state welfare. Divides the poor into deserving (disabled) and undeserving (able to work). Notoriously meager. Renaissance art: ideal body glorified again.

17 17 Early Modern – Europe Renaissance New Advances in Human Understanding (experience & reason) Reformation: Calvin / Luther – Preached that People with Mental Illness Possessed or Created by Satan Start of Biological Origin / Treatment Understanding Difference - Intellectual Disability / Mental Illness Poverty became suspect Begging Outlawed Paris 1657

18 18 The Enlightenment: mind & education (18 th C France) Philosophers promote REASON over authority. rational, universal “man” as liberal democratic ideal. “natural” inferiority based on gender, race. 1690 John Locke & tabula rasa (blank slate) Ideas come from sense perceptions. So all minds can be trained.

19 19 Charity Organization Societies (COS) 1870 Urban poverty was caused by moral deficiencies of the poor Individuals in poverty could be uplifted through association with middle-and upper- class volunteers ("friendly visiting" )

20 20 18 th – 19 th C Denis Diderot’s 1749 “Letter on the Blind” Rejects spiritual/sin ideas of blindness. Blind people have skills & intelligence & should be educated.

21 21 Education: Sensory 1784 Paris, first school for the blind. Early 1800’s - US: Moral Treatment by Institutions 1820 Louis Braille, blind student & teacher. 1831 Boston, Perkins school (H. Keller ~1900).

22 22 Education: Developmental Disabilities 1840s, Paris then US Edouard Seguin, “apostle to the idiots.” Teach sensory-motor “control.” 1848 Boston, School for Idiotic and Feebleminded Youth. Goal to train in job skills (if jobs available). 1870s, England and US residential schools. Universal education & those who don’t fit. By 1875, claims that “mental deficiency” was increasing, and need to build larger custodial institutions, hidden away, permanent care, protect society. Inmates as unpaid workers; self-sufficient colonies. 1894 Rome State Asylum for Unteachable Idiots.

23 23 “Idiots” diagnoses and degeneration theory 1848 Samuel G. Howe, ON THE CAUSES OF IDIOCY “E. G., aged 8 years. This poor creature may be taken as a type of the lowest kind of idiocy. The probable causes are hereditary ones. The grand-parents were very scrofulous and unhealthy. The parents were apparently healthy, but gave themselves up to excessive sensual indulgence.” 1866 J. Langdon Down, OBSERVATIONS ON AN ETHNIC CLASSIFICATION OF IDIOCY “We have examples of retrogression…or departure from one type and the assumption of the characteristics of another.” Down coined term “mongolism” to characterize people with intellectual impairment as equivalent to people of different races. Evolutionary “throwbacks” to a “lower” ancestral race. Also criminals were explained as throwbacks to animal type, lacking human moral sense.

24 24 History of institutions for mentally impaired people 1403 London’s Bethlehem asylum (“Bedlam”) By 1700, France had 100 “general hospitals,” mixed poor, sick, disabled, mental disorders. Until late 1800s, most lived in family, community Able to contribute in pre- industrial economy; work in home, fields; unpaid labor still valued.

25 25 Abuses in madhouses (1700-1850) Bedlam hospital provided Sunday afternoon entertainment. The chained patients were placed in cells and galleries. The asylum received large sums of money from the visitors until 1770 when it was decided that they tended to disturb the tranquility of the patients by making sport and diversion of the miserable inhabitants and that admission should be by ticket only. 1848 Dorothea Dix (Mass.): "More than 9000 idiots, epileptics, and insane in these United States, destitute of appropriate care and protection. Bound with galling chains, bowed beneath fetters and heavy iron balls, attached to drag-chains, lacerated with ropes, scourged with rods, and terrified beneath storms of profane execrations and cruel blows; now subject to jibes, and scorn, and torturing tricks, now abandoned to the most loathsome necessities or subject to the vilest and most outrageous violations."

26 26 THE RISE OF THE AMERICAN INSTITUTION MORAL TREATMENT 1841- 1870s Dorothea Dix 30 state public institutions for people with mental impairments built 1870s Poor funding, growing size of institutions Overcrowded, dirty institutions Segregation of middle class / poor Husbands could commit wives. Severe Economic depressions 1870 & 1880

27 27 THE RISE OF THE AMERICAN INSTITUTION By 1850, 55 asylums - ~ 45,000 ''known insane persons'‘ 1870 -1880 Census: PWMD= 97 to 183 / 100,000 PWID= 64 to 153 / 100,000 By 1900, 328 institutions - ~ 200,000 patients The peaked in 1955 at ~ 560,000

28 28 1835 Lunatic Asylum, Columbus Ohio

29 29 The asylum: from moral to “medical” Initial benevolent goals of reformed asylums. “Moral treatment” (self-control) Calm environment, social activities, baths/diet. Small private retreats for the wealthy. US run by Quakers. By 1870s, US and England public institutions Huge size, poorly funded. No real therapy, but premised on science of heredity and idea of brain lesions as cause. Growth of psychiatric profession, interests.

30 30 Statistical bell curve (1835) invented in the era of efficiency, progress, eugenics Statistics created “the tyranny of the norm,” really the ideal. The disabled fall short. Statistician Francis Galton founded the eugenics program of eliminating deviations from the norm (in one direction only).

31 31 American Schools 1880-1920 Schools based on the efficiency movement. workplace - learning was perceived in terms of productivity. Cubberly stated that schools should be like factories. Referring to the teachers as the factory workers and the students as the raw material to be turned into the product. The children who could not be processed to completion were considered as scraps. …. they were considered to be dropped out of the production line ="drop outs."

32 32 IQ testing 1905 invented by Alfred Binet. “abnormal” children can be educated. 1910s US psychologists corrupt this goal. Mental testing industry. Person’s intelligence is unchangeable. Hereditary. Measure & label & institutionalize. “Menace” to society. Moron – imbecile – idiot scale. By 1900, 328 institutions, with 200,000 people labeled mentally impaired.

33 33 Popular Culture Freak Show Captain Ahab, bitter and deformed, in Moby Dick Classic children's tales – disabled people are evil: The deformed, cannibalistic witch in Hansel and Gretel, 1845 Captain Hook, the "limb-missing”, patched-eye pirates of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, 1885 "the queen in Snow White, who becomes a "wart- nosed, hunched-over witch" to poison Snow White, and other disabled characters are wicked. 1845

34 34 Social construction of “freaks” 1840s-1940s Circus sideshows, performers Display, entertain, skills “Real” and not-real disabilities, identities. Make a living (how exploitative?) Replaced by medicalized power over disability: bodies displayed at medical museum, presentations at scientific meetings, today’s documentaries.

35 35 Sarah Baartman, exhibited in Europe as Hottentot Venus, died 1815, dissected & displayed

36 36 Chang Bunker and Eng Bunker (May 11, 1811–January 17, 1874)

37 37 Eugenics Sir Francis Galton 1883: "Eugenics is the study of the agencies under social control that seek to improve or impair the racial qualities of future generations either physically or mentally." Francis Galton, Inquiries into Human Faculty and its Development (London: Macmillan, 1883).

38 38 From segregation to prevention of “unfit” births = the eugenics movement 1900-1940 Social costs, burden of supporting the “feebleminded” and their offspring. vs. desirable traits = white, middle-class norms… US sterilizes 60,000 people in institutions.

39 39 Time Line 1920 “The Permission to Destroy Life Unworthy of Life,” Karl Binding, a lawyer, & Alfred Hoche, a psychiatrist. Germany. 1927 Buck v. Bell United States Supreme Court upheld the concept of eugenic sterilization for people considered genetically "unfit." Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., stated: "Three generations of imbeciles are enough.“ Upheld Virginia's sterilization statute which provided for similar laws in 30 states, under which an estimated 65,000 Americans were sterilized without their own consent

40 40 Time Line 1933 Nazi Germany -between1933-1939, 375,000 people in Germany sterilized 1939 T4 program – Start of Germany’s Euthanasia program ~275,000 PWD murdered.


42 42 In 1936, Walter Freeman performed his first lobotomy operation. Inserting an ordinary ice pick above each eye of a patient with only local anesthetic drive it through the thin bone with a light tap of a mallet swish the pick back and forth like a windshield wiper and a formerly difficult patient is now passive. Used it for everything – psychosis to depression to neurosis to criminality. He developed assembly line lobotomies, going from one patient to the next with his gold-plated ice pick. Ice Pick Lobotomy

43 43 Between 1939 and 1951, over 18,000 lobotomies were performed in the US, and many more in other countries. It was often used on convicts, and in Japan, it was recommended for use on “difficult” children. The old USSR banned it back in the 1940s on moral grounds! In the 1950s protests began. The general statistics = ~ a third of lobotomy patients improved, a third stayed the same, and the last third actually got worse! Rosemary Kennedy, sister to John, Robert, and Edward Kennedy, was given a lobotomy when her father complained about the mildly retarded girl’s embarrassing new interest in boys. Her father never informed the rest of the family about what he had done. She lived out her life in a Wisconsin institution and died January 7, 2005, at the age of 86. Her sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founded the Special Olympics in her honor in 1968. Ice Pick Lobotomy

44 44 Life Magazine "Bedlam 1946" Philadelphia State Hospital, known as Byberry, originally built in 1912. Byberry has been investigated so many times that in 1987, an 18-member task force decided to close the hospital in the interest of the patients. The hospital officially closed its doors in 1990.

45 45

46 46 "Bedlam 1946" by Albert Q. Maisel, Life Magazine (5/6/46)

47 47 "Bedlam 1946" by Albert Q. Maisel, Life Magazine (5/6/46)

48 48 "Bedlam 1946" by Albert Q. Maisel, Life Magazine (5/6/46)

49 49 Byberry: "Four hundred patients were herded into this barn-like dayroom intended for only 80. There were only a few benches; most of the men had to stand all day or sit on the splintery floor. There was no supervised recreation, no occupational therapy.. Only two attendants were on this ward; at least 10 were needed." (the Shame of the States, Albert Deutsch)

50 50 "Bedlam 1946" by Albert Q. Maisel, Life Magazine (5/6/46)

51 51 This is the bed-jammed corridor of Ward N-7, for female patients, at Bellevue Hospital as sketched by Eric Godal immediately after a personal tour in the summer of 1947. City Hospitals Commissioner, Edward M. Bernecker, refused permission to take photographs inside the hospital, so Godal sketched this drawing. (the Shame of the States)

52 52 Time Line (cont) 1935 The Social Security Act, providing federal old age benefits and grants to the states for assistance to blind people and children with disabilities, becomes law. 1937 The March of Dimes is founded 1940 National Federation of the Blind 1947 Paralyzed Veterans of America is organized 1950 The Association of Retarded Citizens (the ARC) William Stokoe's paper on Sign Language Structure legitimizes American Sign Language and ushers in the movement of Deafness as culture. 1962 Edward Roberts sues to gain admission to the University of California, the same semester that James Meredith requires a lawsuit to become the first black person to attend the University of Mississippi. 1964 The Civil Rights Act

53 53 1938

54 54 Time Line (cont) 1950s-1970s Deinstitutionalization State Institutions 1972 The appalling conditions at Willowbrook State School in New York City for people with developmental disabilities are exposed as the result of a television broadcast by Geraldo Rivera from the facility. (POP ~5,700)

55 55 Time Line (cont) 1977 Following nationwide demonstrations by disability activists, HEW Secretary Joseph Califano signs the regulations for Section 504 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. 1983 ADAPT, American Disabled for Accessible Public Transit, (American Disabled For Attendant Programs Today) 1985 Society for Disability Studies 1988 The Gallaudet University uprising - first deaf president

56 56 Where are we now…. 2000 + years of Tradition Strong moral, medical and person tragedy models Massive Social Changes Social Construction of Disability

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