What is Ableism and how is it harmful?


Ableism is the discrimination or dehumanisation of a disabled person.


The ableist societal world-view is that neurotypical or able-bodied people are the norm in society and therefore essential and fully human. In contrast, people who have diversities or disabilities are largely seen as invisible 'others', in a diminished state of being human, who must either strive to become that norm or should keep their distance from typical people. In this ideology, a disability is thus, inherently, a "bad" thing or an error that must be overcome rather than a simple consequence of human diversity that should be accommodated.



Ableism can take many forms ranging from outright prejudice such as hate crimes, to subtle messages inherent in society or our media such as 'inspiration porn', or in insisting on language (such as person-first) that may even appear to be celebrating and including disabled people but actually promotes the ableist attitudes it claims to be fighting against.