Ableism: the perpetual inconvenience

We still live in a society where people think it is justified to treat a disabled person “less than” a non disabled people. Individuals still have this mindset that disabled people are all “burdens” and a “wasting tax payer’s dollars” and that to “euthanatize” disabled people would be “the right thing to do”.

People do not like being told that such ideas or behaviour is “ableist” and many are confused as to why disabled people are medically , psychologically or financially supported in any way, with the outlandish rhetoric of “Disabled people should be lucky they weren’t aborted! They should be grateful we let them survive and don’t “take them out of their misery” #survivalofthefittest”.

People who do not have a disability can sometimes overlook disability rights such as rights to accessibility, employment etc because they do not view disabled people as “real people”, instead viewing them as just an object of inspiration or in contrast, a drain on society.

Disabled people are often vulnerable members of society and are at a high risk of suffering physical and sexual violence in care homes, which is hardly spoken of by the media.

I believe individuals see the topic of “ableism” as a fanciful idea in order to make people who live without a disability feel “guilt” for being “normal”. No, that’s not what it is. Ableism is a topic that needs to be discussed to ensure the comfort, respect and accessibility for disabled people.

I know I’m not “normal” but I and all disabled people should not be viewed as a “drain on society” or a burden. We can be functioning, helpful and well respected individuals who, according to our capacity, can work, study and achieve our goals. Shock horror surprise, some of us are in full time work AND we pay tax! Amazing!

People can forget how anyone can become disabled at any time, and if these individuals live to an old age, they too may become “disabled” or “unable to care for themselves”.

Often I believe that disabled people are made to be “more disabled” by society’s low expectations of disabled people and also the lack of accessibility, opportunities and support that still exists. We are real people. We exist, and many of us can work, study and follow our dreams.

Our capacity (no matter where it is on the spectrum) is irrelevant to the fact that we deserve to be here and we deserve to be treated like everyone else, just with the additional support we may require for us to have optimal opportunity.

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