4 Types of Microaggressions People With Disabilities Are Tired of Hearing

By Erin Migdol: For More Info, Go Here…

Sometimes, an act of aggression toward disabled people is overt, like firing them from a job or not providing an accessible entrance to a bathroom or building. Other times, it’s subtler — an offhand comment that they’re “so inspiring,” or a cashier assuming they can’t communicate with them. These “microaggressions,” as they’ve come to be known, can still cause pain and reflect ableist attitudes. And people with disabilities can get pretty tired of hearing them.

What Are Microaggressions? 

Microaggressions are subtle comments or behaviors that convey a negative belief about someone based on their membership in a particular group (like the disability community), Kristin J. Conover, Ph.D., psychologist and assistant professor of clinical psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology, told The Mighty. These comments and behaviors can be well-intentioned — which makes it harder to know how to react or cope with them, Conover said.

“Microaggressions are everyday reminders of common oppressive and damaging stereotypes that can become internalized by marginalized groups,” Conover said. “In this way, the impact of microaggressions on mental health has been described as ‘death by a thousand cuts.’”

… Conover said her research has found four primary categories of microaggressions that people with disabilities hear most often: helplessness, minimization, denial of personhood and otherization. We asked our Mighty disability community to share some microaggressions they have experienced and organized their examples into the category they each represent: …

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