First, Develop a short, bulleted 1-2 page outline of how you will respond, either, Pro (votes in favor of the question); or Con (votes against the question) to the case study below.
Then, work on and complete your pro or con final Opinion on behalf of your City Council.
Throughout this course, we have been analyzing the concept of “disability”, ADA, 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?
*IMPORTANT: Your Final Opinion should include proper APA citations of your sources in the body and the Works Cited sections.*
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, double spaced, well-written, cover all aspects of the assignment, and include citations from course readings with proper cites in the Bibliography.
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.
*I will tip nice after satisfactory paper.
CITYVILLE Majority City Council Final Opinion
We, the CITYVILLE Majority Council Members, have decided to deny the
proposal submitted by Corporation, Inc. After careful deliberation and consideration of
all aspects of the proposal, our rationale for the denial is outlined in this document.
Although we realize that Corporation, Inc. is proposing a beautiful, state-of-the-art
playground for the children of our town which would be called FUNTOWN and would
concomitantly develop a smaller “disability-friendly” playground on the ground floor
of a near-by building, called SMILETOWN, the building of these two separate facilities
would be in conflict with the mission of CITYVILLE, which is to promote inclusion of all its citizens in all city
wide activities. We, the CITYVILLE Majority Council Members, realize that there is a probability that failing to approve the Corporation, Inc. proposal will result in a failure to build either facilities, which will definitely deprive its citizens of either
playground.However, we cannot embrace a proposal that excludes disabled citizens
from enjoying benefits of inclusive play. We, the CITYVILLE Majority Council Members, are
also looking to the future when there may be additional members of the community who
could be diagnosed with a physical or mental disability. All citizens, no matter their race,
religion, ethnic persuasion, and disability status deserve to be treated equally. In
evaluating the proposal we have looked to the Americans For Disabilities Act of 1990
which provides for the concept of prescriptive designs, accessible designs and universal
designs in an attempt to make playgrounds inclusionary for all abilities. We also feel that
despite the fact that the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board
(Access Board) has developed guidelines for newly constructed, altered play areas,
and proposed construction these guidelines do not address the need for inclusionary
play areas. It is important to note that there is more to compliance than proper design.
We, the CITYVILLE Majority Council Members believe that the ability to play is not central
to the argument, but rather the ability of the children to play and interact together is
important to their social development and their successful transition to adulthood minus
the development of stereotypical prejudices that often develop when “different” groups
are segregated from one another. Further, we have looked at the work of Disability
Rights Network of Pennsylvania attorney, Jeni Hegenreder, who has stated publicly, “To
be able to play on public playgrounds with other kids...is important for their inclusion in
all aspects of community life.” She further stated, “Inclusive playgrounds are those
where children can interact and be accepted and enjoy the safety and stimulation of the
inclusive environment.” Additionally, inclusive playgrounds provide “normal” children
with an understanding and acceptance of disabled children by having them play side-
by-side.” The acceptance of all types of children will allow for the development of non-
discriminatory interactions that will promote future workplace inclusion and
understanding of disabled and non-disabled needs. Finally, the current and future
parents of CITYVILLE have the potential of having children who are both disabled and
“normal.” It would be impossible for a parent to meet the needs of both categories of
children. This would cause possible between siblings as a parent would be forced to
decide which child would be able to go to the playground since neither could be left
alone. This would cause further distancing of children by their disability/non-disability
category. It is the opinion of the Council that no parent should have to make that
decision. Lastly, children without disabilities who do not interact with children having
disabilities are more likely to develop stereotypical ideas and misconceptions about their
disabled counterparts. This could lead to discrimination later in life from lack of
information or incorrect information about disabilities.
The CITYVILLE Majority City Council understands that with this decision comes the
likelihood that Corporation, Inc. will withdraw its proposal and not build either
playground. However, we the CITYVILLE Majority City Council believe that if Corporation,Inc. withdraws its proposal, we can find the funding for the inclusion playground by reaching out to certain proponents of disability inclusion. These corporations include: The Edith L. Trees Charitable Trust, Gametime Playground Equipment Grants, Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., The Goldberg Foundation and Subaru of America Corporation.These companies have made a commitment to providing funding that will promote an environment of inclusion for all people. In the past, these corporations, etc., have provided townships, cities, towns, etc. with funding to build playgrounds, libraries, gymnasiums, etc that are considered inclusive for all people.
We, The CITYVILLE Majority City Council also hope to meet with members of the
community as well as representatives of Corporation, Inc. It is our hope that with
education, the importance of the healing nature of the playground will become apparent
to everyone. We understand that some members of the community will question why we
would “sacrifice” the building of a state-of-the-art playground and even have another
smaller playground for disabled children, but it is our hope that through education and discussion, it will be apparent to community dissenters and Corporation, Inc members that it is important that the inclusion playground include everyone of every ability level without relegating anyone to a disabled corner of a regular playground or separated by a “disabled only” playground. Based on this assessment, all children have basic rights including the right to learn and play together, because they are devalued when they are separated because of their disability, and their is no right legitimate reason to separate children because of their disability.
In conclusion, research has shown that all children (both disabled and non-disabled) do better academically and socially when they are in an inclusion setting to both learn and play. In addition, segregation based on disability teaches children to be fearful, ignorant and breeds discrimination later in life. Children also need to develop relationships that will prepare them for life in the mainstream. Only with inclusion do we as a community have the potential to reduce fear and build friendships, respect and understanding, knowing that the welfare of our children is our highest priority. Inclusion playgrounds will increase community spirit in CITYVILLE, improve the quality of life and be an efficient use of our community resources. Lastly, because of the anticipated future population growth of CITYVILLE, the unpredictability of future disabled versus non disabled children and the research that supports the inclusion type playground, it would be an injustice to the citizens of CITYVILLE to grant this proposal as it is now submitted by Corporation, Inc.
CITYVILLE Minority City Council Opinion
The opinion put forth by The CITYVILLE Minority City Council would have granted the proposal put forth by Corporation, Inc. and is in direct opposition to The CITYVILLE Majority City Council decision. This proposal would have allowed for the construction of two separate and unique playgrounds. One playground would be called FUNTOWN and would be accessible to “normal”, non-disabled children. The other separate, unique playground would be called Smiletime and would be located in an existing building some distan.ce from FUNTOWN. As Corporation, Inc had stated in its proposal, it is unlikely to build FUNTOWN if it must create an inclusion playground, because of the significant cost associated with building a new, all inclusive facility. Additionally, should Corporation, Inc fail to accept the Majority Opinion and not build the playground called FUNTOWN, non disabled children will be deprived of the only playground in CITYVILLE where they can come for safe, state-of-the-art play. Additionally, disabled children will be deprived of a wheelchair accessible playground to also meet their special needs. We also defend our opinion because the disabled population is currently only two children and while we anticipate an increase in the CITYVILLE population, it is unknown how many of the children living in the town will be disabled. In addition to these reason, the citizens of CITYVILLE will be given, at no cost, two state-of-the-art playgrounds, whereas, if the Majority opinion is carried, CITYVILLE will loose both playgrounds. In addition to these consideration, there may also be unnecessary delays due to the need for compliance (with ADA) issues requiring legal interpretation which will further increase the cost of the project and place a potential for an increase in the tax burden to the citizens of CITYVILLE. Finally, there may be legal liability that will need to be addressed with the integration of non disabled and disabled children in the same area. We strongly suggest reconsideration of the Majority opinion in favor of the Minority opinion.
The most challenging aspect of this decision is the potential loss of both playgrounds if Corporation, Inc. will not acquiesce to the opinion of the Council Majority and build an all inclusive playground that will meet the needs of all citizens of the community. Another challenging aspect of this decision will be the need to educate the population of CITYVILLE to the moral, ethical and social needs of children that will promote friendships, respect and understanding among all children.
The implications that are most concerning to the Majority City Council about the decisions that are made will be to find funding through grant applications and also by private fund raising and donations if Corporation, Inc. withdraws its proposal and refuses to entertain building one inclusive playground. These funding needs would not be necessary if the CITYVILLE City Council had accepted the proposal of Corporation, Inc, but the inclusive playground that research shows would be of more benefit to all citizens of CITYVILLE will not be built. Another significant implication of the decision is the need to listen to citizens who will be upset at the potential loss of the “normal” playground for their child/ren. It is very important to reach out to those dissenters, hear their concerns and educate them on the need for an inclusion playground.
It is said that hindsight is always twenty-twenty. These decision are always difficult when there needs to be a decision made on moral, ethical and social reasons that may prevent some from getting what they want...a state- of- the- art playground. If it was known now that all the funding could be available through grants and fund raising, it would make this difficult decision more palatable to most of the citizens of CITYVILLE. However, the City Council has announced its decision with overwhelming data to support the decision that was made. All children deserve to be treated equally whether disabled or not. In the end, the inclusive playground will be a place where there is no designation for any child and it will allow them to go side by side with the peers they have here and play.
It is the belief of the Council that if the citizens of CITYVILLE are properly educated about the proposal and the research on inclusion education and playgrounds, they will be very supportive of the Council’s decision. It is the Council’s feeling that most citizens want to do the right thing for their children and with and understanding of the needs of the disabled/non disabled population citizens of CITYVILLE will be proponents of building inclusion playground facilities.
*NONE – Example Only*