Day 19 of 21
DISABILITY & ABLEISM
“The worst thing about a disability is that people see it before they see you.”
Have you ever wondered how it would feel for someone to see you as less human because of how you look on the outside?
How would you feel if someone asked: “What is wrong with you?” or “Why were you born like that?”
Words often come out of our mouths before we have time to fully process them in our brains, which means we sometimes say harmful things we didn’t intend. This can happen to anyone, and it may occur more often if you’re not fully aware of the challenges that others face.
The first step to creating a more inclusive community — one where no one is harmed by thoughtless words or actions — is understanding the diverse experiences of the people around you.
- Learn about different types of disabilities.
- Understand the obstacles that people with disabilities encounter.
- Discover how you can create more equitable and inclusive spaces for people with disabilities.
Choose one or more of these daily activities to learn about today’s topic. Plan to set aside 15 to 30 minutes to complete the activities and journal about your thoughts and feelings.
Read “How To Talk To A Person With Disabilities Without Sounding Like An A-Hole” (5 min) by Tiffany Carlson from The Mobility Resource for ideas to improve your interactions with community members with disabilities.
Watch the TEDx Talk “Not All Disabilities are Visible” (11:18) by The Horizontals to hear from four people with invisible disabilities and how they experience burnout.
Listen to an episode of the Disarming Disability podcast to learn more about disabilities and how people with them are treated differently.
Explore the ADA Checklist for Existing Facilities to learn how to create more accessible workplaces for people with disabilities.
Capture what you learned by writing down your thoughts and feelings about today's content.
- What was your “aha moment” (moment of surprise or new information)?
- Does this information change your perspective?
- How will you use what you learned today to create more equitable spaces?
- How diverse is the community you live in?
- When someone is acting inequitably toward another person, would you be willing to step in?
Download a free journal page for today.
Additional Resources & Activities
If you would like to dig deeper into this issue, check out these additional resources. We encourage you to revisit this material when you have more time. Feel free to come back to this topic as often as you’d like!
- Read “4 Ways To Understand The Diversity Of The Disability Community” (10 min) from Forbes to learn about all the different ways disabilities can present and the extreme diversity within the disability community.
- Read “Top 10 Tips for Disability Etiquette” (2 min) from the United Spinal Association for simple ways to treat community members with disabilities respectfully, and as human beings, rather than focusing on their disability.
- Read “Disability Awareness” from Butler University to learn more about disabilities in school-age children and how to create equitable educational spaces.
- Watch “How You See Me” (2:40) from SoulPancake to hear from people with disabilities who embrace their life and their disability.
- Watch the TEDx Talk “Changing The Way We Talk About Disability” (14:49) by Amy Oulton to learn about some of the barriers that people with disabilities encounter every day.
Share your reflections on today’s topic on social media using the hashtag #IowaEquityChallenge.
Next Topic: Issues Unique to Marginalized Communities