Disability Harassment

219 pages

March, 2007

ISBN: 9780814794050



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Mark C. Weber is Vincent dePaul Professor of Law at DePaul University in Chicago. He is co-author of Special Education Law and Litigation Treatise and Special Education Law: Cases and Materials.

All books by Mark C. Weber

Building on the insights of both disability studies and civil rights scholars, Mark C. Weber frames his examination of disability harassment on the premise that disabled people are members of a minority group that must negotiate an artificial yet often damaging environment of physical and attitudinal barriers. The book considers courts’ approaches to the problem of disability harassment, particularly the application of an analogy to race and sex harassment and the development of legal remedies and policy reforms under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

While litigation under the ADA has addressed discrimination in public accommodations, employment, and education, Weber points out that the law has done little to combat disability harassment. He recommends that arguments based on unused provisions of the ADA should be developed and new legal remedies advanced to address the problem. Disability Harassment also draws on case law to explore special problems of harassment in the public schools, and closes with an appeal to judges and lawmakers for expanded legal protection against harassment.


  • “Weber accomplishes three significant tasks in Disability Harassment: he demonstrates the existence of disability harassment, explains the harm that it causes, and provides courts with tools to prevent future instances of disability-based maltreatment. Disability Harassment thereby contributes to the anti-discrimination literature by focusing attention on the comparatively less examined, but pervasive phenomenon of intentional mistreatment of people with disabilities.”

    Northwestern University Law Review

  • Disability Harassment provides a detailed, complex, and interwoven series of argument and legal strategies that can be used by lawyers to address the school and work based abuses experienced by individuals with disabilities.”

    Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education

  • “Provides a progression of well-documented, horrific stories of abuse that are experienced by both children and adults, by both individuals and who were born with a disability and by individuals who became disabled.”

    —Harold A. Johnson, Michigan State University

  • “Weber is at his best when he explains the terrible cruelty of marginalizing and segregating children from their peers on account of disability.”


  • “Weber lays out an understandable explanation of the remedies that exist for people who are harassed based on disability, including those that are available under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). . . . Few lawyers practice in the area of disability law. One perhaps unintended benefit of the book is that it may recruit trial lawyers to Weber’s cause. His passion for the subject gives life to the pages of the book and may inspire trial lawyers to get involved in these types of cases. . . . In the end, Weber makes it clear that practitioners can protect the rights of children and workers with disabilities. And he succeeds in making his main point: that children and workers ought to be treated equally and evaluated on their merits, not their afflictions. This book helps trial lawyers get closer to that laudable goal.”

    Trial Review