What are ableism and disableism?
Ableism is a newly coined word used to express discriminatory behaviors against the disabled. The term cropped up in the early 1980’s, when those with disabilities began showing up more often in social and political settings, demanding the same rights as those who are not disabled.
Ableism is not only used to describe discriminatory behavior against the disabled, but used to describe people preferring the non-disabled over the disabled. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was created to help protect people against ableism.
If someone is an ableist, they generally show signs that being disabled is not ‘normal’ and the way things ‘should be’. They favor those without disabilities, or in other terms they favor the able-body and minded, and show behaviors that make it appear the ‘normal standard’ in living excludes those with various disabilities. Ableists discriminate against those with disabilities.
Disableism has essentially the same meaning as ableism; the two are interchangeable. Those living in the UK prefer the term disableism, although in other places one or the other can be used. Some people prefer to use the term disableism, simply because it uses the term ‘disable’ and seems more fitting to define a word that means ‘to show discrimination to those who are disabled’.
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