So many people tell me they work with disabled people, or they’re a parent of a disabled child, or they know a disabled person – and that gives them a free pass to be ableist. They often say “I know a disabled person and they don’t have a problem with the R word”, or justify sheltered workshops paying well below the minimum wage, or don’t even consider accessibility when planning events or writing content, or never including actually disabled voices – only listening to and amplifying people who have proximity to disability .
Whether it’s ableist slurs, or discriminatory behaviour, or justifying ableism – it’s not ok to be ableist if you’ve got proximity to a disabled person.
It’s also still ableism if you’re disabled and are *also* being ableist – like saying “I’m not disabled like them”, or using slurs, or punching down and making fun of someone with a different impairment to you.
I love this meme from @strengthcenteredspeech on Instagram – follow and support them.
Image description – via @strengthcenteredspeech: “Cream background with colorful shapes (pink, tan, green) along the edges.
Text: it’s still Ableism if you…
Study or teach about disabilities but ignore or speak over disabled people in real life.
Have family or friends with a disability but refuse to accept their wishes or preferences.
Make art about disabled people but don’t include disabled people in the process.
Hire disabled people but pay them less or refuse to accommodate them.
Call you setting a safe space but disregard accessibility.
Call yourself an ally but only advocate when it’s convenient.”