People receiving accommodation and accessibility pursuant to policy changes regarding disability does not negate that the intention of the original policy design was meant to provide a convenience for what gets described as the "general public" more so than for aid to those who receive the label. This is especially true for disabilities that refer to intellect and behavior.
The increase in the number of people labeled is in direct proportion to an increasingly exclusive and bigoted society as well as an increase in population. It doesn't seem productive to me to protest the labeling except for the purpose of opposing the harmful treatment. Usually though, such objections are more geared toward the ideal of encouraging people to overcome weakness. Unfortunately, the language associated with overcoming is often used more to promote the derogatory stereotypes than it is anyone's empowerment.
There is not much of a dividing line in regard to cultural understanding between intellectual deficit and mental instability. The judicial system has greatly influenced these beliefs. The majority of people are hurt by these assertions and are either institutionalized or completely ignored and denied any type of aid as a result.
Since the broader awareness and understanding of deficits are not creating better accommodation and accessibility for the majority of people(and often the bigotry encouraged from broader awareness causes the opposite response) the goal of promoting the more positive cultural perspectives is essential to inclusion and acceptance. It's irresponsible to attempt policy changes without the preservation of dignity for the person labeled with the deficit being the top priority.
The current cultural understanding of behavior in the U.S. as it relates to intellect, mental stability, and character was greatly influenced by the Eugenics movement and more specifically by the efforts of the American psychologist Henry H. Goddard.
"Henry Herbert Goddard (August 14, 1866 – June 18, 1957) was a prominent American psychologist and eugenicist in the early 20th century. He is known especially for his 1912 work The Kallikak Family: A Study in the Heredity of Feeble-Mindedness, which he himself came to regard as deeply flawed, and for being the first to translate the Binet intelligence test into English in 1908 and distributing an estimated 22,000 copies of the translated test across the United States; he also introduced the term "moron" into the field.
He was the leading advocate for the use of intelligence testing in societal institutions including hospitals, schools, the legal system and the military. He played a major role in the emerging field of clinical psychology, in 1911 helped to write the first U.S. law requiring that blind, deaf and mentally retarded children be provided special education within public school systems, and in 1914 became the first American psychologist to testify in court that subnormal intelligence should limit the criminal responsibility of defendants."
"By the late 1920s, Goddard had reversed many of his early opinions, declaring in multiple public forums that he had been gravely mistaken in many of his most famous conclusions (Zenderland, 1998, pp. 324-326). He had begun to question the validity of the tests that were used to detect morons, and he stated emphatically that his former belief that morons could not be educated satisfactorily was wrong. In addition, he frequently voiced his new opinion that feeble-minded people should be allowed to have children, if they choose to do so. He asserted in a 1927 article for Scientific Monthly that the concept of segregation colonies had been a bad idea (Zenderland, 1998, pp. 324-326).
However, Die Familie Kallikak was printed in Germany in 1914 and reprinted in 1933 shortly after the Nazis came to power. Goddard never intended for his book to be connected with Hitler, Nazism, and the Holocaust. In 1938 and 1939, he tried unsuccessfully to use his influence to help the daughter of a Jewish colleague escape from Austria (Zenderland, 1998, pp. 333-335). Subsequently, a psychology text by Columbia University psychologist Henry Garrett (1961) provided a brief, and rather embellished, overview of the Kallikak study to bolster his eugenicist arguments. Although these interpretations stood at odds with Goddard's opinions later in his life, these and related events have helped to paint the rather negative picture many people still hold of Goddard and his work."
I think it's very important to understand that the most prevalent views regarding these issues are anything but liberating.
Bigoted views result from people's dependence on convenience, their unwillingness to explore the history of language, and the constant submission to shame-based behavior, which encourages us to seek ways of belittling rather than empowering each and rather than staying focused on doing our individual best.
There are people who are so removed from the majority of people and have therefore become completely indifferent to common struggle that they intend to relieve hardship (their own hardship, but it's conveniently described as ours) by eliminating part of the population. Too often people continue to echo the language which was designed by them as well as encourage their agenda without paying much attention to how the attitude continues with a snow-ball effect.
The way we use language regarding intelligence and mental stability is very important and oppression would never survive if the people behind oppressive agendas were unable to depend on the ways we encourage language subtly that support their efforts. If we were more careful to watch the way we contribute to our own demise, their efforts would not be nearly so successful.