Friday, May 1, 2009

BADD--Blogging Against Disablism Day 2009

Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1st 2009 Although I thought I knew what "disablism" is I it looked up anyway. Most references pointed me to "ableism," a term I knew I knew. It, like its cousins racism, sexism, classism, ageism, etc., is a label for a discriminatory practice we humans use to set people who are different from us apart from us. In this case, ableism and disablism practices discriminate against people whose abilities don't fit the standard we have as a whole set for "abled." Our societal conventions and institutions are structured to favor those who can walk on two legs, see with two eyes (glasses allowed if they correct to 20/20,) hear with two ears, work with two hands, and use our voices to speak smoothly and distinctly. Oh, and let me not forget, we must demonstrate mental health and acuity on a level with our peers at every age. Operate outside of these parameters and one is certain to be the object of discrimination and quite possibly distain.

Many of us considered abled have the privilege of not having to think much about how we get around, what we'll need to get through new and existing experiences and environments or that we might be turned down for a position for any other reason other than our qualifications. We need to change that. We must adopt the mindset individually and collectively where everyone has earned our consideration and respect on no other merit but they exist as individuals. Our humaness dictates we will all use tools to complete the tasks we need to do to survive. We will have varying abilities and skills and use different tools to move through life and as a society we must not set up barriers to success for those needing more or different tools than others.

Disablism or ableism, whichever the name, is wrong. Don't do it. Don't allow it. Seek it out and destroy it. Our world will be a better place when it is no more.


  1. You had asked about my Twitter follow (I'm CHL_TX_COM), and I replied that we had more in common than you might think.

    In my next concealed handgun license class, I expect two profoundly deaf students, which is going to be a bit of a challenge for me. There is no reason that a deaf person should be denied a CHL on account of deafness, but I will need to invent some way of running the range qualification for these two students. I look forward to the challenge.

  2. Yes, maybe we do have some thing in common not immediately evident. I, too, love a good challenge. I am confident you'll devise an equitable way for your deaf students to successfully complete your course. Feel free to come back and tell me how it goes and/or let me know if I can help you find resources.