“Just because I’m using a cane doesn’t mean I’m helpless!”
Are you familiar with ableism?
Ableism refers to discrimination and social prejudice against people with mental or physical disabilities—and it can be unintentional. Ableism can include stereotypes, generalizations, and misconceptions. Some actions or comments can be well-intentioned but are actually harmful. Even when we mean well, we can make mistakes in trying to be helpful.
Remember to check your assumptions and follow this list of Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to individuals with disabilities.
- Assume that disabled people need “fixing.”
- Assume that a disabled friend or colleague needs help.
- Talk to a person with a disability like a child or speak for them.
- Ask invasive questions pertaining to their health or personal life.
- Touch a person or their equipment without consent.
- Use terms in everyday speech that could be considered microaggressions, such as lame, retarded, crazy, or psycho.
- Define a person by their disability.
- Believe those who discuss their disability.
- Ask people what they need.
- Consider accessibility when planning events.
- Provide appropriate accommodations.
- Make sure closed captioning, audio descriptions, etc. are options.
- Practice being a good disability ally.
- Educate others.
NewPoint strives to educate people and foster a culture of respect in the workplace. Our training series Who Does That?! is a selection of short, dynamic animations covering crucial topics such as ableism, sexual harassment, and diversity and inclusion. View the trailer or watch a snippet of the episode “Differently Abled,”. Questions? Contact Us Today.