Challenging disability Inequality
A lot has happened in the past few days and I took time to think, about a lot of things. I wanted to learn more about the stigma faced by people with disabilities and how we can stop ableism. I also wanted to take the time to educate myself around hidden disabilities. He’s a bit of my research:
To start off with the basics, stigma is a negative set of beliefs about people with specific characteristics. A basic example, ethnic minorities, or people with unusual facial appearance may encounter stigma.
People with disabilities have been stigmatised throughout history. In many cultures – like my own, back in Nigeria – disability has been associated with curses, disease, dependence, and helplessness. Disability stigma can play out in a number of ways, including social avoidance, stereotyping, discrimination, condescension, blaming, internalisation, hate crimes and violence.
People who are stigmatised by their community or society are seen as different and sometimes as a threat. For someone who is not disabled, the idea of becoming disabled themselves can be very scary, and when we feel scared of something or someone, we usually want to push it or them away – to keep them at a distance.
That can be tough on top of the other challenges that can come with physical disability; lack of access to places, difficulties in finding a job, dealing with personal stuff like pain or parts of your body not working as they should.
Unfortunately we can’t wave a magic wand and change other people’s attitudes overnight. What we can do is try to change how we ourselves think and feel.
A hidden disability may not immediately be apparent. Although the disability creates a challenge for the person who has it, the reality of the disability can be difficult for others to recognise or even acknowledge. Others may not understand the cause of the problem, if they cannot see evidence of it in a visible way.
People with some kinds of invisible disabilities, such as chronic pain or some kind of sleep disorder, are often accused of faking or imagining their disabilities. These symptoms can occur due to chronic illness, chronic pain, injury, birth disorders, etc. and are not always obvious to the onlooker.
I wanted to write this one up, but I found an extremely good video which I could’t resist sharing.
I hope this was insightful for you as it was for me. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the end for me, but I wanted to help educate anyone that I could. Below is a list (which I will be constantly updating) of how you can help raise awareness.