Watch "What is Ableism?"

Fill out this form to access the recording of Kelsey Lindell’s workshop about ableism, disability history, and implicit bias.

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What is Ableism?

Ableism refers to the discrimination or social prejudice against individuals with disabilities. It can manifest in various ways, including attitudes, language, policies, and social structures that favor able-bodied individuals and marginalize those with disabilities. Ableism can be both overt and subtle, and it often stems from the assumption that disabled people need to be “fixed” or cannot lead full and meaningful lives.

Ableism can manifest in many forms, such as:

  • Physical Barriers: Lack of wheelchair ramps, elevators, or accessible public transportation.
  • Social Barriers: Stereotyping, assumptions, or stigmas about what people with disabilities can or cannot do.
  • Institutional Barriers: Policies or practices within organizations that do not accommodate people with disabilities.
  • Media Representation: Limited or stereotypical portrayals of people with disabilities in movies, TV shows, and news outlets.
  • Language: Using derogatory or demeaning terms to describe people with disabilities.

Ableism is often ingrained in societal norms and institutions, making it pervasive and, at times, difficult to identify. However, awareness and education are key steps in combating ableist attitudes and practices, promoting inclusivity, and ensuring equal rights and opportunities for all, regardless of ability.