In 2002 Professor Mark Sherry, then at the University of California, published an intriguing article about the grievous underreporting of hate crimes against people with disabilities in the United States.
The most important dimension of this piece resides in the FBI’s suggestion that hate crimes against the disabled are statistically negligible. The findings of an accompanying study by the UC Berkeley’s program in disability studies suggest that police and law enforcement officials are often reluctant to categorize crimes against people with disabilities as hate crimes because officers aren’t sufficiently trained to identify biased based crimes. Additionally, it is easier to classify a crime as simple assault.
Alas, not much has changed in the six years since this article was published even though disability rights advocates have continued to point out the seriousness of this underreporting problem.
The aim of this blog is to give people with disabilities and their fellow advocates a place to publicly record narratives of abuse against PWDs. These narratives might be first person accounts or associated stories drawn from the news media or the internet. They might be links to blogs or links to announcements concerning public policy and law enforcement initiatives aimed at addressing these problems. Other posts might include articles or bibliographies about these issues.
Above all else it’s safe to say that the gathering of this information will be timely.
Cross-posted on Planet of the Blind