The disability community uses the word ableism to talk about prejudice based on ability. This discrimination can be seen in oppressive parts of disability history like when medical treatment is denied to a person with a disability; a frightening practice that continues today. Ableism can be fought by self-advocates, like those In ADAPT (a disability advocacy group), or allies like George Bush Sr. who signed the Americans With Disabilities Act. I talked about all these topics and more in my presentation. There are many examples of when allies and self-advocates work together as was the case in 1977 when a group of people with disabilities occupied the Department of Health, Education and Welfare building. The protest that lasted almost a month was done with the help of groups like the Black Panthers and went down in history as the longest occupation of a federal building in U.S. history.
Disability history excites me. Oppression makes me sad, but resistance excites me about identifying as a man with Cerebral Palsy. Along with what Micha and I talked about in D.C. there is another element to disability culture. This can be seen in Ed Roberts work to advocate for Centers for Independent Living that are organizations, of people with disabilities, that help other people with disabilities develop skills and advocate to live independently. This is part of the disability community. It can be seen in many other ways like participating in adaptive sports and hanging out with friends who may inform you about ADAPT Actions. So get out there and enjoy our culture.
Community Inclusion Specialist
So get out there and enjoy our culture.