Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Which Kinds Of Ableism Do You See Most?

Illustration of a laptop computer with a red pencil marking a box with a checkmark, symbolizing taking a survey

Its a fun survey! Which kinds of ableism do you see most? At the risk of reinventing the wheel, I've come up with my own categories, which I hope covers all the necessary bases. See some explanations below the survey.

Why am I asking? Because I'm curious to see if there are any interesting patterns in the responses. Also, frequency of Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook references can only tell you so much about what people are really feeling and experiencing.

Please feel free to share this with others. The more people respond, the better. I'll post results after about a month.

Added note: In response to a question on Twitter, I ask that you report things you have either experienced yourself or witnessed happening to others ... but not things you've only heard about or read about. Thanks!

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Use of outdated terminology
  • Handicapped, differently-abled, special needs  or whichever terms you dont like.
Insulting jokes on disability themes or using disability language
  • Im telling you, that guy is a total moron, a real mental defective!"
Snubbing, freezing out, shying away from social engagement
  • When its obvious someone is avoiding dealing with you because your disability makes them uncomfortable.
Condescending attitudes, speaking to disabled adults as if they are children
  • “Heeey buuuddy! Thats a pretty snazzy hat you’ve got there!"
Physical barriers that shouldn’t be there, could be removed
  • When you cant even enter because of the way a place is constructed.
Explicit exclusion based on disability
  • Im sorry, but youre going to have to leave. Well need to see a doctors note if you want to participate."
Refusing to accommodate
  • I dont have time to deal with you  why dont you bring someone to help you? But the policy says …” “If we let you do it that way it’s not fair to everyone else."
Assumed to be incompetent, unreliable, immature
  • When people ask the person with us instead of us. When we say what happened and people just dont believe us; we must have misunderstood. Most employment discrimination.
Unsolicited advice
  • When someone we dont know graces us with their brilliant idea about how to cope with a disability they know nothing about.
Held to a higher standard of polite behavior than most non-disabled people
  • Its very important for us to be patient, civil. Theres no call to get mad; people just dont know.
Administrative rules and procedures that impede our progress and independence
  • Nobody actually wants us to end up in a nursing home, dropped from college, denied benefits. Its just policy.