Cited Article

The ADA and Persons with Mental Disabilities: Can Sanist Attitudes Be Undone?

Case Citation

Breen v. Carlsbad Mun. Sch., 120 P.3d 413 (N.M. 2005)


The fact-specific holding “N.M. Stat. Ann. §§ Sections 52-1-41 and -42 violated equal protection by discriminating against the mentally disabled because the Act allowed substantially more compensation for persons with physical impairments than those with mental impairments and this was not substantially related to furthering the purposes and goals of the Act.”

Citing Quote

Although this language was directed at all persons with disabilities, we note that "even within the disability community, persons with mental illness are often the poor stepchild, and remain the last hidden minority." Michael L. Perlin, The ADA and Persons with Mental Disabilities: Can Sanist Attitudes Be Undone?, 8 J.L. & Health 15, 20 (1993-94) . "Surveys show that mental disabilities are the most negatively perceived of all disabilities." Michael L. Perlin, "Their Promises of Paradise": Will Olmstead v. L.C. Resuscitate the Constitutional "Least Restrictive Alternative" Principle in Mental Disability Law?, 37 Hous. L. Rev. 999, 1032-33 (2000) (noting that mentally disabled individuals are denied jobs, housing, and publically funded programs based on behavioral myths that suggest they are deviant, strange, disproportionately dangerous, and presumptively incompetent).

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