i'm here to teach you about ableism, as someone with a chronic illness :)
health is a crown only the healthy wear, but only disabled people can see
click the button below to proceed
i've been subject to a lot of ableism in my life and it's upsetting to see how ignored it is, and i really hope i can change that.
i know it may be hard to imagine why anyone would be discriminatory towards people with a disability, something they can't help, but its more likely than you'd think.
try not to worry if you or anyone you know have done these things before, this is meant to be educational and how you should not do these things in future.
just a heads up, i will be focusing on physical + invisible disability. i don't have a mental disability and therefore i don't have any right to speak on ableism in that aspect.
i think i should start with what i see the most often.
one of the most common forms of ableism i see is slurs, for example the r-word and s-word. it should go without saying that we do not say this word and others like it anymore, but here are the reasons why!
its very hurtful + derogatory
suggests that disabled people are flawed, different and invalid just for being disabled
reinforces negative stereotypes about disabled people
there are a lot of other words you can use, for example stupid or ridiculous etc. there is no excuse for keeping these words in your vocab.
this is basically finding disabled people inspirational for just living their lives. this is mainly something able bodied people do, sort of 'if they can get out of bed, get ripped, get a job, then i definitely can'
this is extremely hurtful. we are more than just our disability although it is an important part of our identities. and we do not exist solely for your pleasure, your inspiration and your motivation. we are not objects. we are not here to fuel your ego.
disabled people are people
it should be noted that you can find disabled people inspirational. classic example is stephen hawking, an amazing scientist. however, he shouldn't inspire you because he is disabled and can do everyday things, he should inspire you because of his amazing scientific theories and discoveries.
Commonly Asked Qs
"But you don't look disabled"
just because you can't see it doesn't mean its not there, and you should take me seriously. i'm not gonna say i have a disability for the sake of it am i. disability is not just being in a wheelchair. disability can be completely hidden too.
"Have you tried -any sort of herbal remedy/exercise-?"
i've tried a lot. trust me i don't want to be on meds, if something nAtUrAl actually worked don't you think the doctors would rave about it? no. stop trying to fix me you're not a doctor.
"You're faking/attention seeker/drama queen"
this happens a lot to people that don't have a diagnosis. you are all so valid and i believe you a hundred percent. doctors have said this to me and i'm sure many others. again, i'm not gonna say i have a disability or am in pain for the sake of it. hell, even if they are faking (most likely aren't) it's much better to offer your support than blank them out.
"You're too young to be sick"
sorry to break it to you but disability doesn't discriminate. affects all people no matter their age. it is ignorant and hurtful and only continues the stereotype that only older people are disabled and prevents younger people (like the person writing this) from getting diagnosed.
"Don't you want to be cured?"
no. life isn't about searching for a cure and my life isnt pitiful enough to want one. being able bodied won't make me happy, happiness comes by in other ways. don't assume that being disabled is a burden and that the first thing that a disabled person should do is try to rid themselves of it asap.
"Whats your sex life like?"
wtf. you wouldn't ask an able bodied person this what makes you think you have the right to ask a disabled person this? invasive and uncalled for. ew.
trust me, there's a lot more, but this is what came to mind first.
a lot of people depend on mobility aids- wheelchairs, canes, crutches, guide dogs etc.
do not see these as a bad thing or try to prevent people from having them. these give disabled people freedom, and it is extremely ableist to flat out deny disabled people these things to help them live independently.
DO NOT TOUCH SOMEONE'S AID W/O PERMISSION!
mobility aids are an extension of a disabled person. you wouldn't want a random stranger touching your legs/eyes would you?
there are also ambulatory mobility aid users for things like crutches and wheelchairs (mainly). do not call a disabled person out for being able to walk short distances w/o a wheelchair or going a few days w/o it.
you've reached the end!
thank you sm for reading, it means a lot to me. i hope you've learned a thing or two :D
I'm positive there are things I'm missing, if you have any qs ask a disabled person you know and i'm sure they'll answer. but don't be sad if they reject, they don't need to answer your questions.
if you want to learn more, a great instagram account is @colourblind_zebra.