What is Ableism?

  • Ableism is a system of oppression that includes discrimination and social prejudice against people with disabilities & Disability Community.
    •  Their exclusions and the valuing of people and groups that do not have disabilities.
  • Ableism is all around us. It hides in politely worded conversations and the use of euphemism. Smothered patronizing tendencies in kind actions.

Ableism Examples

  • Institutional or Systemic Able
  • Interpersonal
  • Internalized

4 Large Scale Examples

  • Ableist language
  • In accessible design
  • Education discrimination
  • Employment discrimination

Different forms of Ableism

  • Hostile ableism
  • Benevolent ableism
  • Ambivalent ableism

What is Systemic Ableism?

  • Systemic or institutional ableism comprises the physical barriers, policies& laws,
  • Attitudes that exclude people with disabilities from full participation and equal opportunity in society

Parts of Systemic Ableism

  • Physical Barriers
  • Policies & Laws
  • Attitudinal Barriers

Physical Barriers

  • Buildings without Ramps
  • Elevators
  • Automatic or push door
  • Accessible parking
  • Inaccessible housing
  • Lack of transportation

Policies & Laws

  • Lack of Compliance with disability lays and legislation
  • Lack of laws
  • Lack of understanding of existing laws

Attitudinal Barriers

  • Stereotypes
  • Prejudice
  • Stigma


The Why for the Language

Why Language is Important to me as an Autistic

While putting together the blog, website, and the language documents, “Why” has come up many times. Which led me to what I really wanted: to change the thoughts and perceptions around the disability community. Also by how language is used to describe individuals and the community in its entirety. Changing one’s language is not enough to make genuine change for racism, homophobia, the patriarchy, etc. Its a start to understanding the meaning behind the words and by lending perspective, and educating others with language. We can change how marginalized groups are treated and viewed—this will lead to true change. Currently, take any word that was previously discarded for being politically incorrect, you can follow each and every replacement that followed after. Meaning that If the thoughts and actions behind the words do not change, another word will just replace it and thus nothing, will have changed.

Changing the language and euphemisms

Changing Intellectual Delay Language

Euphemisms to Change

  • You belong on the short-bus or that is short bus material
  • Like a 4 year old in a 40 year old body
  • I’m such an idiot, that was really dumb
  • Oh duh, I’m an idiot, sorry that was so dumb
  • I swear like I am r*****
  • You are so r****
  • They area total moron
  • This class is so stupid
  • This song its so r**

Labels to Retire

  • Mental R*****
  • Anything to do with R***
    • ex. Libtard, F***tard
  • Mentally Handicapped
  • Mentally Defective
  • Mentally Challenged
  • Imbecile/Idiot/Idiotic
  • Dumb
  • Moron/Moronic
  • Mouth Breather (Uniformed)

The Why to Change ones language

  • There is No non-ableist way to insult someone’s language.
  • Replacing words like “r*” or “idiot” as insults replacing with synonyms still preserves the harm to the disabled people & community.
  • All people over 18-years old who need help with decisions and they are still adults and need to be treated with dignity and spoken to as any other adult.
  • Imbecile is an ableist term and cannot be changed to be non-ableist. Imbecile classist term as well as it was used in the early to mid 1900s to justify institutionalizing and sterilizing young women who were poor or consider having low IQ’s.
  • Idiot, moron and imbecilic are relics of the past. These words are no longer in use by the medical world after the American Eugenics movement popularized them. This made the case easier for Nazi’s in the Holocaust to remove individuals with such labels.

What to use instead of Euphemisms

  • First address a person by their name or use the following….
  • Person with an intellectual disability
  • Person with a cognitive disability
  • Intellectual Disability
    *IDD-Intellectual & Developmental Delay
  • Uniformed
  • Reckless
  • Impulsive
  • Ignorant
  • Tacky
  • What were you thinking?
  • What the hell were you thinking?
  • Risk-Taking
  • Feckless
  • Narrow Minded
  • Frustrating(ed)
  • Annoying
  • Irritating
  • Obnoxious
  • Uh yeah that makes total sense now that Im thinking of it