Friday Five: Definitions of 'Ableism'

Sep. 22nd, 2017 07:46 pm
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
[personal profile] capriuni
So -- over on Tumblr, someone made the comment that you can't call out people for their ableism if they don't know what 'ableism' means. So when we in the disability community talk about it, we're basically preaching to the choir.

So I've decided to post a definition of 'Ableism' with slightly different phrasing each time every couple of days. ...Most of the definitions are my own words (or will be). One is from Merriam-Webster Online, and one is from Disability Rhetoric by Jay Timothy Dolmage.

Here are the ones I've got, so far:

1) Ableism is when you discount someone's humanity because they do not have all the 'standard' abilities we're taught to expect.

2) Ableism is when you accept a culturally contrived 'standard' of human ability, and measure the value of a human life against that standard.

3) Ableism renders disability as abject, invisible, disposable, less than human, while able-bodiedness is represented as at once ideal, normal, and the mean or default. [That's Dolmage's)

4) 'Ableism' is the idealization of ability.

It is a bias that credits anyone who has abilities we admire with good moral character, while discrediting the moral character of disabled people.

5) 'Ableism' is a subconscious filter in our perception; it only lets those with a 'full set of abilities' into the category of 'human.' Those with less than a 'full set' are often treated as inconsequential, or even invisible.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
[personal profile] capriuni
This is a "chat" I posted to my Tumblr, today. And I'm posting it now, in response to This story segment from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, and the ensuing discussion.




Disabled Person: I need a wheelchair.

Wheelchair Manufacturer: We won't sell you one unless Medicare will pay for it*

Disabled Person: I need a wheelchair.

Medicare: Can you walk 20 feet?

Disabled Person: It's 40 feet from my front door to my bedroom...

Medicare: Can you walk 20 feet?

Disabled Person: I can, but it's excruciatingly painful, my balance is terrible, and I risk falling at every step.

Medicare: Then No.

Disabled Person: Why not?

Read more... )



*Footnote: Even if you are wealthy enough to purchase a wheelchair out-of-pocket, many suppliers still require proof of insurance. And even private insurers copy Medicare's policies when it comes medical equipment and mobility aids.

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