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What is ableism? - Health Hacker Australia

What is ableism?

So what, exactly, counts as ableism?

If you don’t live with a disability yourself, you may not realize the numerous ways society pushes people with disabilities to the fringes.

As a start, it might help to unpack what “disability” means. This term might automatically bring to mind people with noticeable physical conditions.

For example:

  • A person who uses a wheelchair
  • a blind person who uses a sight stick
  • a person who has only one arm

But according to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a disability can include any physical or mental health condition or symptom that significantly affects at least one major activity of daily life.

Disabilities can affect the ability to:

  • communicate
  • stand, walk, or move from place to place
  • leave home
  • see, hear, breathe, or eat and drink
  • learn and remember information
  • handle work responsibilities
  • interact with others, including co-workers, friends, loved ones, and anyone else
  • shower, use the bathroom, or handle other basic needs

Mocking or dismissing someone with a disability might be a pretty obvious form of ableism, but ableism doesn’t always happen intentionally. Maybe you just never realized chronic illness or mental health conditions counted as disabilities.

But ableism often begins with the failure to acknowledge the different types of disabilities people can experience. You may not have any negative intentions or ill will, but unintentional ableism can still have a major impact.

Republished from https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-ableism#identifying-it

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