25 Examples of Ableism to Avoid as an Ally to People With Disabilities

By Theresa Swan: For More Info, Go Here…

Ableism means “discrimination in favor of able-bodied people.”

As of today, I am officially “totally disabled.” My health has been declining before getting diagnosed with a chronic illness in May 2019 and having to stop work.

It has been devastating to grieve my old life, career and hobbies. And ableist remarks (still fairly common!) are like kicking someone when they are down. Since at least one out of five people will become disabled in their lives — and ableism is still largely unaddressed and unknown — if you are the loved one of someone with a disability, you will want to be aware of how to proceed with compassion. Here is a list of 25 examples of ableism so you can be a good friend / medical practitioner / family member and avoid the harm ableism causes.

1) Minimizing another’s struggle for your comfort. We know it is hard when someone has a disability / chronic illness. But imagine how much harder it is for them. Give them space to talk about it.

2) Discriminating against them for speaking about their diagnosis/challenges, or accusing them of just wanting attention or trying to manipulate others. These ideas are completely ridiculous and rooted in acute ableism. This is likely the hardest thing a person has ever gone through. Sharing is a part of well-being; a little bit of compassion goes a long way.

3) Thinking you understand how a condition affects someone without listening to them and researching their condition. Each person has different experiences and each diagnosis has complex symptoms.

4) Comparing chronic/long-term disabilities to temporary/short-term injuries or illnesses. Getting your tonsils out is not the same at the existential identity crisis or the physical and emotional challenges of facing a potentially lifelong disability.

5) Saying they should just “get over it” or “accept it” without recognizing the immense grief that can come with chronic illness / disability. Again, it is likely the hardest thing a person has gone through and there are a lot of big feelings that need to be expressed. Let the person know you are there for them. “Tough love” attitudes towards someone with a disability are not love at all.

ngd- And many more…

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