‘Ableism’

‘Ableism’

Yesterday, I was listening to a podcast by @kellybroganmd on the @thejoeroganexperience where the term ‘ableism’ was coined. I had never heard of this term before, but it has a lot to do with what I am currently reading on, figuring out at this moment in my life and one of the reasons I started this blog.
Ableism is often exlained as to characterize a person defined by his or her disabilities and, consequently, as looked on as inferior to the non-disabled (the abled). It is as much present in our society as other forms of discrimination, racism and sexism, which means unfortunately that it has significant presence. There are stereotypes involved with certain disabilities. Naturally for many people accounts that, when they see someone who looks beyond what we think of as ‘normal’, they associate what that person has with something they know. This is a human instict, but one we should be careful with.
I for instance get a lot of people asking how it came to be that I was so severely burned. Mind you, I am not burned, at least not through the sun. However, a port wine stain often reminds people of sun burn (red skin). Although some prefer not to be asked, I personally am of the opinion that you should ask if you want to know the real story but before asking, be aware of the language you use, because you might make a wrongful assumption. And while I am more than open to answer, it makes it harder in the process of explaining to first have to ‘undo’ an assumption before wholely answering the question 🙂