Ableism in America

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Prior to this course, I had heard of ableism but never really had a clear understanding of what it is. Now after reading the article "Internalized Ableism: The Tyranny WIthin" I feel as though I actually understand it and am able to identify it in daily life. The author describes that immediately after a child is born he or she is taught that to have a disability or to be disabled is to be a lesser person. The idea of a disability is constructed by society, to not have a disability would be to be "normal" and have a healthy body both inside and out. Because of these ideologies, people who are seen as normal walk around on pedestals looking down upon everyone who is "different" or "disabled". Often times the same people up high on their pedestals are also the ones encouraging those who are disabled to reached for the stars and achieve their goals, without assisting the right resources to help them. Society as a whole enjoys the idea of helping those who are disabled but when it comes to reality run in the opposite direction. People who are disabled are unable to embrace themselves because everyone else around them sees their disability as something wrong that needs to be fixed in order to be "normal". The idea of 'fixing' people has been present for many years, and I even admit that I have taken place in the idea of normality. People with disabilities are portrayed in the media as helpless (i.e. Soldiers coming back from war, M.S., autism, ADHD). The media portrays that a disability makes them helpless and is bad rather than embracing all the other things that are positive about the people.

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I completely agree with what you are saying, having a disability is not supposed to cripple and hinder one from functioning in healthy ways and participating and enjoying life. In fact no one said that the human body had to look or function a certain way, so why do people feel the need to take control, or ordain how the world looks and functions based on the way that certain/"normal" people look and function.

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This page contains a single entry by pangx063 published on December 11, 2012 9:48 PM.

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