Saturday, May 5, 2007

In what ways do people act that promote ableism/ disablism rather than inclusion?

I've had a number of readers email me about my post Disablism Happens that I wrote for Blogging Against Disablism Day.

1 reader emailed me that those of us who blogged against disablism are imagining it or making it up .

5 readers emailed me that it made them think about ways they practice disablism when they're alone. Apparently that line struck many readers. Three of them were able bodied and two were disabled.

Two of them emphasized how they struggle from exclusion at their jobs. One woman has a co worker who is disabled and it never occurred to her that she had treated this woman differently until she read a BADD post written by a woman with a disability and learned that she and her coworkers were excluding their coworker.

Another reader is disabled and wrote about how he is excluded at work socially and has experienced a pattern of discrimination in pay and promotions. He wrote:

"When two other employees left, I "inherited" their jobs without receiving an increase in pay. When I began to question this, I discovered that my base salary was much lower than that of able bodied employees in the same job. I was hesitant to hire an attorney about this problem but based on how I am treated overall at my job I'm unwilling to work for less than people who sit next to me and then exclude me from office parties by forgetting to tell me about them. Forget lunch invitations - it never happens. This is more hurtful than anything I went through at school as a kid. I got along with everyone in school..."

These emails continue to lead me to reflect upon the question :

In what ways do people act that continue to promote ableism or disablism rather than inclusion?


electroDude said...

I think it's most hurtful when I'm treated like I'm invisible. In school kids do this and out in public people do this. It's not just ways in which people are mean but that they don't see me as a person. I try to participate but it's hard when this happens.

guidedog43 said...

OK good topic. As a blind person, here's my list of ways that all of us disabled or not act that exclude :

Patronize or demean
Behave rudely
Belittle me in front of others
Always look out for number one
act in controlling ways
Intimidate -physical or other ways

Here's what my friends do to include me as a person with a disability and I think it's good in general:

Treat me equally
Give constructive feedback
Look for ways we can help each other, not one way but not tit for tat either
Give me space instead of always judging me
Let me know they enjoy having me around

Anonymous said...

If I can be genuine (and hopefully compassionately direct ) here - I don't see how a blind person or a person with a disability can be an equal friend, worker or in any relationship. Isn't it fair to assume such a person will take more than give and it's only the kindness of the other people who aren't disabled to choose to be around them?


goldchair said...

If you focus on what a person with a disability can't do then negative assumptions happen. I'm in a wheelchair and work full time, have my own place and car but my older brother who is not disabled lives at home with my parents and is unemployed. But it's not just about that either. People are just equal and they don't have to somehow earn that or prove that.