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Looking at Ableism

Tips on how you can make positive change this Disability Pride Month.

What does Ableism mean?

Ableism is discrimination and social peejudice against people with disabilities or who are percieved to be disabled. Ableism characterizes people as defined by their disabilities and inferior to the non-disabled.

At its heart, ableism is rooted in the assumption that disabled people require 'fixing'.

Abilities, not Limitations

For people with disabilities, it can be more empowering to focus on what they can do rather than what they can't. For example, instead of saying, "He's confined to a wheelchair." which may be considered insensitive, you should say "He uses a wheelchair.". You can also use words like "experiences", or "lives with", or "has".

Avoid Euphemisms

A euphemism is an indirect word or expression.

It can make people feel ashamed and upset when using condescending euphemisms. These may include "differently-abled", "challenged", "handi-capable", or "special".

Accessibility Online

To make digital content accessible to users with disabilities allowing them to join in the conversation too, there are several ways of doing so, such as:

  • Transcripts for audio content

  • Closed captions for videos

  • Add images with Alt text

  • Allow users to enlarge font size

Learn more about insights and expertise to help you connect more meaningfully with diverse audiences.


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