Monday, September 8, 2014

Ableism: Link Reading List

After a few celebrities neglected to check their able-bodied privilege, my plan to write a blog post about ableism got away from me. Ableism is discrimination or prejudice against individuals with disabilities. It is very much alive and surrounds people with disabilities wherever they are.

You've probably seen the meme of a woman kind of standing up from a wheelchair and reaching for an item on a grocery store shelf that happened to be alcohol. I won't share it because I refuse to perpetuate her abuse. Adults who use wheelchairs are just as allowed to have a drink as any other adult. There is nothing about the picture in and of itself that is wrong or dishonest.

***NEWSFLASH*** People who use a wheelchair can often stand for a short time or walk short distances. "Wheelchair" doesn't have to equal "legs are broken". It is a tool to assist people who need extra help getting around for any of myriad reasons, which is something people who are able-bodied take for granted every day. You probably don't know why a stranger is using a mobility device and it is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. You are not the mobility police.

I've talked about "inspiration" before. People with disabilities are here neither to inspire people who are able-bodied nor to be the target of your jokes. Neither are we obligated to teach life lessons to strangers everywhere we go. It makes me cringe to have to say this, but we are people just like everyone else.

If you'd like to learn how to be an ally for people with disabilities, here are two more important links I hope you'll read completely and consider fully:

10 Ways To Avoid Everyday Ableism and 4 Ways To Be An Ally To People With Invisible Disabilities

***Edited to add: If someone is telling you "ableism is happening in my life everyday", don't say "No, it isn't." Use your empathy.

No comments:

Post a Comment