What is ableism?

Treating people badly because of who they are is called discrimination. Ableism is discrimination against disabled people. Ableism doesn’t always happen on purpose, but ableism happens all the time.

Some non-disabled people think it is bad to be disabled. They don’t always say that with their words, but instead with their actions. They don’t accept people with disabilities, and they don’t try and make things accessible. They keep us out of schools, neighborhoods, and jobs where non-disabled people are. They might abuse or hurt us. These things are all ableism.

Autistic people deal with certain kinds of ableism.
Here are some kinds of ableism we deal with:

  • It is ableism when people want to cure autism. It means that people want to get rid of us. They try and make us act less autistic, but they should accept us for who we are!
  • It is also ableism when people say we aren’t autistic. People might not give us help we need, or they might say we aren’t “autistic enough” to need help.
  • It is ableism to ignore non-speaking autistic people. People might say we can’t communicate, or take away things that help us communicate. They might hurt us because they know we can’t tell someone else about it.

Ableism means that some people don’t think about our needs. Because of this, they don’t help us live good lives.

Autistic people aren’t the only people who deal with ableism. All disabled people deal with ableism. Wheelchair users get told they aren’t “disabled enough” to need a wheelchair, and Deaf people may not get interpreters during job interviews. People might try and keep disabled people from getting health care we need.

Ableism has been around for a long time, and disabled people have been treated badly for a long time. If you have dealt with ableism, you are not alone.

We know that there is nothing wrong with being disabled. We can be proud of who we are. People with disabilities work together, and show others that we are proud. We have worked together for many years, and we made the disability rights movement. The disability rights movement is when disabled people fight back against ableism. We work to change society to be better for disabled people, and fight for our rights as people with disabilities.