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Miller, Paul Steven.

"Developing Diversity and Equal Opportunity: Why the Disability


Perspective Matters." PMLA 120.2 (2005): 634-37. JSTOR. Web. 24 March 2014.
http://www.jstor.org/stable/25486199
Millers intent in his article is to explain why the disabled point of view matters in the
scope of society. In his article, Miller discusses the merits that the ADA and IDEA acts have
given to both those who have disabilities as well as the rest of society. Miller states in his article
that because these laws were passed, Young people coming out of high school and college
today do not know a society without the ADA and IDEA. These statutes have reshaped their
environment for the better, and whether disabled or not, students expect to benefit from its
provisions (634). However, Miller continues by explaining how even though these acts have
brought about great change, there are still struggles within the laws (specifically the ADA) and
compares it to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Of this, he states the ADAs struggle is
simply about civil rights, personal autonomy, and individual dignity (635).
The dominant approach that Miller uses is contrast, as he explains important differences
between Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the ADA. The biggest disparity that Miller makes
is that the Civil Rights Act was made public knowledge though the mediums of television and
radio, but that the ADA was passed silently with the public knowing only after the law had
been passedno blatant publicity was made about this law. Miller also uses personal experience
as an approach to the job market and the hiring process of those with disabilities. He makes
special note about the court system, and how lawyers are severely lacking in knowledge about
the disabled experience. Miller points out that this lack of knowledge is detrimental to
discrimination cases. He also indicates that the lack of a disability voice in general is detrimental
and that this particular voice is needed everywhere, but especially in higher education settings
where these students can be better accommodated.
Millers thesis and approach are made clear from the opening lines of the article as well
as the title. He argues the case for the disabled voice to be heard effectively. The article is
organized well for the argument, where historical background and personal experience help to
ground the case; it is also easy to follow. There are no sources listed at the end of the article so
this somewhat impinges on the accuracy of the article as well as its effectiveness.
I agree wholeheartedly with the writer in that the voices of those who have disabilities
needs to be made more prominent, especially in the areas of law, education, and the job
market/hiring process. Reading this article has given me a better understanding of the many ways
that the disability voice is needed in society today. While this article did not clash with my ideas
in any way, it did give me a general understanding of the way the ADA and IDEA laws are
helping but also hindering those with disabilities because of the lack of voice. The one thing that
was not helpful from this article was the lack of bibliographical information. I would have liked
to have had it available for more in depth viewing of the topic. The author did not use other
viewpoints for this article, but did give a situation where disability was not mentioned as a part
of diversity hiring processes.
This article has helped me by enlightening my knowledge of the disability rights
movement that is currently going on, and which has continued to spark my growing interest in
Disability Studies as a whole. I would use this in my thesis as a foundational brick layer of
Disability Studies and how is has affected Society, which ties in to the social aspect of my thesis.