`The American Disabilities Act (1) was legislated to ensure the rights of the disabled. The ADA has a great personal significance to me because it affects my life since I am disabled, and it has changed my life in many ways. The ADA also provides me the possibility of a great future. We should be very proud of the fact that the United States is the first country to establish legislation to grant rights and freedom to individuals with disabilities. Each state has responsibility to ensure compliance with the law. The ADA allows individuals with disabilities to be educated, obtain public transportation, work, and live independently in a barrier free community.
Historically, for the most part, in the early days of man, family or tribal members took care of the sick or disabled. Infanticide was widely practiced and probably few disabled children survived. In some societies disabled adults would kill themselves in order not to be a burden to their social group. In ancient Greece and Rome, some public assistance was granted to full citizens. From the beginning of practiced religion, the Hebrews, Muslims, and Christians were depended upon to assist the ill and the poor.
In 1601 England was one of the first countries to pass laws to assist. The Elizabethan Poor Law (2) was developed " to provide social disability to alleviate discontent and distress, and to prevent disaffection through outdoor relief". Assistance was given to the poor, those who were elderly, sick, and unable to work. People who were considered to be "able-bodied paupers", and who just did not want to work were beaten severely until they changed their ways.
In 19th century England, poverty was seen as caused by character weakness, not a social problem. (3) The Poor Law amendment act of 1834 was brutal, and forced poor people to live in "Work Houses". The poor law commission concentrated on the able-bodied poor, and did not take into consideration orphans, old age, or people with mental and physical conditions.