The meaning behind the word “disability” has transformed quite heavily between today and the mid-1900s. During that time period, there were a very vast set of characteristics you could possess in order to be considered a disabled person, such as being of a different race or even gender. In the book “Disability and the Justification of Inequality in American History”, Douglas Baynton recollects the many different cases of discrimination which lead to improper classifying of disabilities in recent history.
One of these classifications was through a person having “mental defects”; homosexuality was thought to be a mental illness for a long period of time in society. However, in a span of a few years, the United States has managed to make huge steps in social equality by deeming that all same-sex marriages should be legal. America has made relatively large amounts of progress throughout the last century alone, with the Civil Rights movement giving different races the same amount of freedoms as whites, the Women’s Suffrage movements which gave women more equality in the public, and now we are seeing more acceptance of the gay community. We are slowly seeing our “melting pot” widening with each moment. What will be the next societal group that will be part of the trail of acceptance for America?