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Aging and Disability Worksheet Essay

Part I

Identify 2 or 3 issues faced by the aging population.

1 The older generations often time experience unequal treatment in the workplace and are subject to prejudice and discrimination. (Pearson, 2012)

2 Older members of society share physical differences that set them apart from the younger generations. (Pearson, 2012)

3 The aging population are involuntary included into clubs or groups determined by their age. (Pearson, 2012)

Answer the following questions in 100 to 200 words each. Provide citations for all the sources you use.

What is ageism? How does ageism influence the presence of diversity in society? Ageism is age based prejudice or discrimination. The effects of stereotyping on the older generations, whether intentional or not has a negative impact of diversity in society. When society determines that a person is too old to do their job or maintain their effectiveness as active members of society we are losing a great deal of experience and wisdom and inhibiting a person from doing something they may want to do. Age discrimination will have a negative impact not only on society but also on employers as they will not be able to retain knowledge and will have to pour resources into training new workers. A possible solution is to maintain an older workforce to provide mentoring and training opportunities.

What is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)? How does the ADEA address issues for the aging population? The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits employment discrimination against persons forty years of age or older. (www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/adea.cfm) The ADEA does not protect workers under the age of forty. The ADEA as stated, forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, fringe benefits, and any other condition of employment (www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/age.cfm). Additionally, any policy implemented by an employer that is to be directed at the entire workforce, can be deemed in violation of the ADEA if the policy has a negative impact of employees over the age of forty. What is being done to address the issues you identified?

The ADEA act is an important step in providing equality to the aging population in the workplace. Many older people resent the fact that they are capable of receiving senior discounts of have automatic memberships in clubs such as AARP. To combat feelings that these ideas bring about, I believe older generation are trying to stay more active in society whether it be by exercise and recreational opportunities or just being involved in non-profit organizations and active members of society. Maintaining and active lifestyle by recreational opportunities or exercise also helps to deter the effects of differing physical characteristics brought about by age. Is the number of aging population expected to rise in numbers or decrease? The older population–persons 65 years or older–numbered 39.6 million in 2009 (the latest year for which data is available). They represented 12.9% of the U.S. population, about one in every eight Americans. By 2030, there will be about 72.1 million older persons, more than twice their number in 2000. People 65+ represented 12.4% of the population in the year 2000 but are expected to grow to be 19% of the population by 2030. (http://www.aoa.gov/Aging_Statistics/) What types of legislation may or may not be affected by the aging population? There are many issues facing the elderly today any many could involve legislation affecting such things as Social Security benefits and also healthcare benefits. The development and workings of groups aimed at protecting not only the threatened benefits of Social Security and healthcare but also other aspects of the elderly lifestyle are on the rise and proving to be helpful to our aging society. How does poverty affect the aging population?

Poverty among the elderly is seen as much better today than it was in the past. This can be attributed to pension plans and higher paying jobs that what people were subject to quite some time ago. Although the rate of poverty is declining in the elderly, poverty is still an issue. One major cause is the rising cost of long term healthcare and medicines. With the increased life expectancy rates, this only compounds the problem as people are living longer.

Part II

Answer the following questions in 100 to 200 words each. Provide citations for all the sources you use.

What does the ADA provide for people with disabilities?
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment (http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/fs-ada.html). The ADA provides for accessibility by individuals that otherwise might be limited by disabilities in an attempt to provide equality in society and the workplace.

How have people with disabilities been treated in the past?

Throughout history, people have been socially disadvantaged, not because of the limits of their own skills and abilities but because assumptions are made about them based on some group characteristics (Pearson, 2012). As a society we tend to fear the unexpected and naturally limit interactions due to this feeling on unknown. In doing so, we have created a sense of separation and a lot of times cause unnecessary feelings of dejection among the disabled community. How has the attitude toward people with disabilities changed over time? Over time I think as a society we have become more aware of actually how much alike people with disabilities are to us. As we move into a more adventurous society, more unfortunate accidents occur and more and more people are likely to become physically disabled. The end result of this would be a better understanding among all of society of the differences and hardships people with physical disabilities face on a daily basis and allow us to focus on ways to provide equal access and quality of life. What are some unique circumstances or issues encountered by people with disabilities? People with disabilities, physical or mental, face issues and unique circumstances on a day to day basis that can make life challenging. Access to retail environments, restaurants or any public venue is often times limited by the level of accessibility provided by local businesses or governments. People with learning and/or mental disabilities could face issues of increased level of difficulties in the learning environment which in result could cause limitations in the workplace.

What is being done to address those issues?

The ADA Act is eventually going to force all businesses large and small to abide and provide access to disabled citizens. The U.S. Department of Education allocated more than 19 million dollars in grants to help prepare those with disabilities to receive their educations (www.whitehouse.gov/issues/disabilities). What types of legislation have been introduced to address issues faced by people with disabilities? The President of the United States signed into law the “National Alzheimer’s Project Act”, which will provide council on research, care and services of this disease. The President also reauthorized the “Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act”, which will provide screening, intervention and research into hearing loss. The “Christopher and Dan Reeves Paralysis Act” was also signed into law, which is aimed at improved the lives of those affected with paralysis (www.whitehouse.gov/issues/disabilities). The President also signed several laws dealing with education and employment oppurtunities for those with disabilities as defined on the White House disability issues website.

Schaefer, R, Racial and Ethnic Groups, 13th Edition, 2012, Pearson Education

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