In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the day-to-day challenges facing autistic people and their families. People with autism and other disabilities have faced discrimination in organ transplants. During the pandemic, they faced discrimination in the availability of ventilators. And along with other people with disabilities, they reportedly encounter discrimination in health care more generally.
Four in 10 adults with disabilities reported experiencing unfair treatment in healthcare settings, at work, or when applying for public benefits because of their disabilities or other personal characteristics in 2022.
71 percent of adults with disabilities who reported experiencing unfair treatment in healthcare settings reported a subsequent disruption to care, including delaying (54%) or forgoing (50%) needed care and not following clinician recommendations (31%).
Almost half (46%) of adults with disabilities who experienced unfair treatment in workplaces reported looking for a new job because of the way they were treated.
About 71 percent of adults with disabilities who experienced unfair treatment in social service settings had difficulty receiving public benefits, including delaying (45%) or forgoing (57%) benefits.
Black and Hispanic/Latinx adults with disabilities were more likely to report unfair treatment because of their race, ethnicity, country of origin, or primary language compared to White adults with disabilities.
Despite laws prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities, unequal treatment persists. Improving equity for people with disability for people with disabilities requires continuous investment from policymakers and the public and private sectors.