Disability Harassment

Disability Harassment

Disability Harassment

Disability Harassment

Synopsis

According to social psychologist A. Daniel Yarmey, police officers find the nature of their work necessitates that they behave to some extent like applied psychologists. Many police officers, of course, do not have any special training in this or any allied field, nor do they have an understanding of what cognitive or social psychology might be able to tell them about the behavior of those with whom they are likely to deal in their daily work. Similarly, psychologists are habitually asked by the courts to present research regarding eyewitness testimony, forensic evidence, and competency to stand trial, yet psychologists frequently lack any real awareness of policing or of police officers.

Understanding Police and Police Work, the first systematic an comprehensive review of the psychology of police and their work, focuses on the psychological basis of police officers' interactions with society. It shows how psychology and other social sciences can contribute to an understanding of police behavior as well as the behavior of citizens and other professionals with whom the police are involved.

Excerpt

This book discusses the harassment of individuals on the basis of their disabilities. Its central focus is on the legal remedies and policy reforms that can be advanced to address the problem of disability harassment. The analysis is not strictly legal, however. It seeks to build on the insight of many writers in the disability studies field that people with disabilities are members of a minority group in America. Though disability may define the group, what imposes limits on individuals is not necessarily disability itself but the artificial environment of physical and attitudinal barriers that people with disabilities must negotiate. Harassment is a manifestation of the attitudinal barriers.

The book will consider the courts' approaches to the problem of harassment, particularly the application of an analogy to race and sex harassment and the development of remedies under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) comparable to those applied in race and sex cases under other civil rights laws. It criticizes the limits of that approach, which so far has provided remedies only in a few, extreme situations and left the vast undercurrent of harassing activity unaffected. The book suggests that other provisions of the ADA should be applied and other legal remedies developed. It also takes up special problems of harassment in the public schools and the legal response. It discusses possible challenges to the constitutionality of expanded legal protections against harassment. It also explores other policy measures to diminish harassment and end isolation of people with disabilities, thus considering social as well as legal changes.

A note to readers who are not lawyers: a major goal of this book is to demystify some of the legal analysis of disability harassment. Nevertheless, I found myself unable to avoid employing legal jargon without adding hugely to the length of the description of court cases. To understand the description of the cases, it is helpful to know that cases begin . . .

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