|Background||What does ableism look like?||Support Resources for Disabled & Differently Abled Folks||Informational Resources for Allies|
A note on the scope of this guide:
This guide is intended to provide general information about anti-oppression, diversity, and inclusion as well as information and resources for the social justice issues key to current dialogues within the Beloit Community. This guide is by no means an exhaustive list of anti-oppressive initiatives nor does it capture all of the many facets of the larger conversations about the issues listed here. This guide serves as an introduction to these issues and as a starting place for finding information from a variety of sources.
Ableism able-bodied people have the institutional power, therefore Ableism . Ableism involves both denying access to people with disabilities and exclusive attitudes of able-bodied persons.
An ableist society is said to be one that treats non-disabled individuals as the standard of ‘normal living’, which results in public and private places and services, education, and social work that are built to serve 'standard' people, thereby inherently excluding those with various disabilities. (from StopAbleism.org)
Anti-Ableism is strategies, theories, actions, and practices that challenge and counter ableism, inequalities, prejudices, and discrimination based on developmental, emotional, physical, or psychiatric (dis)ability.
Accessibility means access. It refers to the ability for everyone, regardless of disability or special needs, to access, use, and benefit from everything within their environment. It is the “degree to which a product, device, service, or environment is available to as many people as possible.”
Founded on the principles of Universal Design, the goal of accessibility is to create an inclusive society for people with physical, mobility, visual, auditory or cognitive disabilities. This means everyone has equal access to perceive, understand, engage, navigate and interact with all elements of the physical and digital world. (from CNIB.ca)
Ableism and ableist societies restrict accessibility, either consciously or unconsciously, by designing physical locations/buildings, technology, transportation systems, communication systems, etc. that meet the needs of abled/able-bodied people and dismiss the needs of disabled and differently abled people. Disabled and differently abled people, therefore, are primarily disadvantaged not by their difference, but by the society that disregards their difference and restricts accessibility.
For Disabled/Differently Abled Folks in Crisis
Community Awareness & Support
Local & National Support Organizations (NEED LOCAL LINKS)
Abled or Able-bodied privilege refers to the unearned benefits that American society and many other societies and cultures accord to able-bodied and/or abled people. This privilege is rooted in two cultural beliefs: 1) that a "normal" human being is one who can see, walk, hear, talk, and has significant no physical, cognitive, emotional, developmental, or intellectual divergence, and 2) that disability is "abnormal" and therefore a (social) disadvantage. These beliefs or societal models mean that many cultures, including the US, have set up social expectations, structures, cultural mores, and institutions to accommodate able-bodied and/or abled people by default and that dismiss and/or marginalize the needs and experiences of disabled and/or differently abled people. Abled/Able-bodied privilege privilege speaks to how not having a disability or not being perceived as having a disability means not having to think or address topics that those without abled/able-bodied privilege have to deal with, often on a daily basis.
To give you an idea of abled/able-bodied privilege, here are some examples of the benefits abled/able-bodied people receive:
Abled or Able-bodied fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of religious stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as tears, argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate Christian religious equilibrium. (adapted from "White Fragility")
The dominant association between "normal" and "abled or abl-bodied" allows most abled people to live in social environments that insulate them from challenging encounters with abilities, accessibility perspectives, or people who differ from themselves. Within this dominant social environment, abled people come to expect social comfort and a sense of belonging and that their perspective of "normal" is correct by default. When this comfort is disrupted, abled people are often at a loss because they have not had to build skills for constructive engagement with differently abled and disabled people and their social perspectives. They may become defensive, positioning themselves as victims of anti-ableist work and co-opting the rhetoric of violence to describe their experiences of being challenged on abled/able-bodied privilege. (adapted from "Christian Fragility")
Being a Supportive Ally
A- always center the impacted— Kayla Reed (@RE_invent_ED) June 13, 2016
L- listen & learn from those who live in the oppression
L- leverage your privilege
Y-yield the floor
Celebrating Dis-/Differently Abled Folks