Quote of The Day

"Ableism is perhaps the single most important disability-related keyword that exists besides the term 'disability' itself. It represents one of the biggest obstacles that people with disabilities face, and yet the word is not very well-known outside the disability community. If you don’t know this word already, it is a must-have in your vocabulary."

"What is Ableism & How can you be Anti-Ableist?" by Jill Feder

Ableism can be defined as various forms of negative biases and discrimination that people can face because of their actual or presumed disability

It is important to check our own biases, misconceptions, and assumptions when it comes to the individuals we support, teach, train, and work with.

None of us are exempt from this conversation, because even if you may say "Well, I certainly don't have any negative biases or perceptions about Autism", what do you when you confront them at work? Or in the school where you teach? Or if you are raising an Autistic child, hear from your own family members? How do you respond, or DO you respond?

Here are some great examples of ways in which disabled children, adolescents, and adults may face Ableism in their day-to-day life. 

Seeing the problem (awareness), is the 1st step towards standing up to address it or call it out when it happens:

Patronizing language or Infantilizing Autistic adults

"Obsessions/Fixations" instead of "Special Interests"

Person- first language when Identity -first language is preferred

Functioning labels (i.e. low functioning)

Approaching your clients with a "Fix it" mentality, vs a "Support & Assist" mentality

Assuming non-vocal/non-speaking means "cognitive impairment"

Only speaking of Autism as a burden

Over-prescribing therapy or intervention with the goal of Normalization

Teaching "passing" or "masking", instead of person-focused intervention

Talk of "recovery" or a "cure"

Source: Avoiding Ableist language in Autism research

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