Blogging Against Disablism Day: What Is Disablism?
Philippa Willitts // 1 May 2010
What is disablism?
Disablism is arranging a meeting in an inaccessible venue.
Disablism is sitting in the ‘priority’ seats on public transport and not offering those seats to a disabled person, if you are not disabled yourself.
Disablism is when a doctor ignores physical health problems because you have mental health problems.
Disablism is parking in a disability car parking space when you are not disabled (even if it is *just for a minute*).
Disablism is using words like retard, psycho, spastic, handicapped and lame.
Disablism is thinking that making buildings accessible is ‘bending over backwards’ and political correctness gone mad.
Disablism is presuming that disabled people are less than you.
Disablism is not hiring a disabled person because of assumptions you have about their abilities or needs.
Disablism is staring at someone because they look different.
Disablism is making assumptions about what someone can and cannot do.
Disablism is making offensive jokes about a group of people on the basis of their impairment.
Disablism is presuming that disabled people’s lives must be awful.
Disablism is casting a non-disabled person to play a disabled person in a play or TV show.
Disablism is disability hate crime.
Disablism is refusing to prescribe contraception to a learning disabled person because they can’t possibly want to have sex.
Disablism is not acknowledging that many disabled people experience discrimination on multiple levels.
Disablism is frequently institutionalised.
Disablism is assumptions.
Disablism is not asking whether your event needs a sign language interpreter.
Disablism is going ahead and doing what you think might help, rather than asking someone what would help.
Disablism is refusing to prosecute men who rape mentally ill or learning disabled women, because the women are ‘unreliable witnesses’.
Disablism is thinking that you don’t need to consider access needs, because disabled people don’t come to your events (and not wondering why they don’t).
Disablism is assuming that someone you haven’t met (or even that you have) is not disabled.
Disablism is presuming that people diagnosed with schizophrenia are dangerous and violent.
Disablism is thinking it is less tragic when a disabled person kills themselves than it is when a non-disabled person does.
Disablism is presumptions about ‘quality of life’.
Disablism is behind all these news stories.
Disablism is sacking somebody when they become ill or disabled.
Disablism is not in the dictionary.
Disablism is telling us we are being punished for something we did in a past life.
Disablism is thinking that if someone doesn’t look disabled, then they are not.
Disablism is ignoring somebody because you don’t understand.
Disablism is thinking that disabled people ‘have it too easy these days’ and are therefore being overly demanding if they want to be able to get into a building.
(cross-posted at incurable hippie blog)