Forced Institutionalization and Irma

Miami-Dade County has vowed to forcibly institutionalize all homeless people who don’t get off the streets.

The temptation will be to say this is for their own good and to look past it, but disasters do not mean that disabled people lose their rights. Moreover, notice how the article (and others like it) only talk to county officials, not people with relevant disabilities who are homeless or have experienced homelessness, nor experts in disability rights/mental disabilities with or without disabilities.

Just as officials are often too willing to overlook disability rights, journalists often overlook basis Journalism 101 principles when reporting on disability.

It’s a complicated situation with complicated decisions and implications. Do the whole job. Don’t report it simple.

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