The Official Blog of Ramona Harvey

Author of "Unclipped Wings"

Archive for Disablism

Unclipped Wings – Joins Those Blogging Against Disablism Today

Today is Blog Against Disablism Day 2011. All across the web bloggers are dedicating their blogs today to the topic of Disablism to help raise awareness. I am no exception.

What is Disabilism?

Simply put it is discrimination against people with disabilities.

I would like to say that this is something that rarely happens, but unfortunately it happens all the time. Yesterday a friend of mine was denied access to a restaurant because she had a service animal and many of you have heard about the boy in Texas who was not allowed to participate in communion because he has cerebral palsy…

But it has happened to me also a store owner refused to sell me and a friend of mine a soda. We had money but the store owner would not take our money…. a stranger behind us line was nice enough to take our money and buy the drink on our behalf.

But those are just a few examples, stuff like that doesn’t happen always and not everyone is like that, right? The quality of life for people with disabilities is better now. Thankfully we have laws like the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) that protects people with disabilities…

I agree. We have come a long way and people with disabilities have had better access to education and other resources they didn’t have access to in the past. We are a lot more unlikely as a whole to accept the blatant discrimination of not selling a soda to someone with a disability as okay.

But we have a long way to go. Not just in terms of physical access barriers, but systemic biases which are harder to see and combat It is because of the systemic biases that grass roots organizations like ADAPT, which is in Washington today, exists. ADAPT is advocating for the people with disabilities to have the choice to live in the community instead of being forced unnecessarily into often more costly nursing homes.

Disablism does exist, but the problem we have now is that people have seen how far we have come and they think the problem is fixed. We do have laws like the ADA designed to protect the rights of people with disabilities – but that is just a first step.  It is Because disablism still exist that we need to work to make sure that these laws are not only enforced but protected.  We have come a long way but we still have a long way to go.

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