In early America, people with disabilities were often abandoned, sent to asylums, sold off to freak shows, and even sterilized. Such confinement and isolation of people with disabilities reflected the negative societal attitudes held toward human difference. People with disabilities were commonly feared, pitied, and neglected. Even today, people with disabilities are still often seen as “different” from “normal” people in society and are frequently attributed stereotypical characteristics such as weakness, dependency, and incapacity.
Sullivan, Kathryn, "The Prevalence of the Medical Model of Disability in Society" (2011). 2011 AHS Capstone Projects. 13.