Ableist language and ideas are deeply embedded in our culture, often to such an extent that many people don’t even consider the ways in which they perpetuate it. On Sunday, the hashtag #YouMightBeAbleistIf starting popping up all over Twitter attached to all the cliches, stereotypes, and ableist nonsense that folks have been confronted with all of their lives.
Scrolling through will really make you think about how what you do and say might be making people feel excluded—or, even worse, actually excluding them from everyday life. Points about accessibility, medical treatment, and job opportunities get brought up along with all the ableist phrases and behaviors that often get taken for granted or brushed over.
It’s a great chance to consider how to be better because as many people wrote, we’re all taught to be ableist from a young age. Now, it’s time to unlearn it all.
#YouMightBeAbleistIf your response to a disabled person in leadership not being able to attend functions that are inaccessible or due to their disability is "maybe someone else who is more physically able should do this job" not finding/creating supports.— Laurie Bertram Roberts✊🏽🏳️🌈♿️😎 (@smartstatistic) December 29, 2019
#YouMightBeAbleistIf you tell disabled people their disability, which affects literally every single thing they do, shouldn't be a part of their identity but your health/workout/diet/pyramid scheme is a major part of yours.— Sam Bosworth ♿🔥🤘 (@_SamBosworth) December 29, 2019
#YouMightBeAbleistIf— Liddle Jessica Savage 🤷♀️ (@losingminddaily) December 29, 2019
*Get some fresh air, you'll feel better
*You don't "look" sick
*It's all in your head
*Church will help
*Just pray about it
*You were fine yesterday
*You're doing this to yourself
*The meds make you this way
*Just force yourself to do it
#YouMightBeAbleistIf You tell me (or yourself) how STRONG I must be to "deal with" my disabled kid. I'm RAISING my child, same as every other parent.— Mommabard 🏳️🌈 (@M0mmabard) December 29, 2019
#YouMightBeAbleistIf if you told me I got into college or law school because of my disability.— Haley Moss (@haleymossart) December 29, 2019
This happened to me in HS; a girl said “you’ll get into college. Colleges love that crap; you could’ve been born a vegetable and you’ll still get in.”
...we were in the same classes.
#YouMightBeAbleistIf you you regularly ignore the boundaries of disabled folks to "help". You're not doing it for us if you can't be bothered to ask first, you're just doing it to make yourself feel like a hero— Miss Owl (@twitchymoogle) December 29, 2019
#YouMightBeAbleistIf you dont have a disability.— Charlie Knight [they/them] (@CKnightWrites) December 29, 2019
Yeah, I said it. Able bodied and neurotypical people have ableism so ingrained that its hard to find one who isnt, even if its ignorance and not malice.
So try harder. Do better. Assume you're ableist and work from there.
#YouMightBeAbleistIf you think autism is caused by vaccines & that girls can’t be autistic— kat is hostile, watch out (@autandabout) December 29, 2019
#YouMightBeAbleistIf you think a subminimum wage is ok bc “at least they have something to do”— Four Wheel Workout™️ ♿️ aka Four Wheels Poppin™️ (@4WheelWorkOut) December 29, 2019
#YouMightBeAbleistIf— Jen 🦻🏻 (@jendatabasegeek) December 29, 2019
You don't use alt text on your images. You don't caption your videos and provide audio descriptions about what is happening. You don't provide transcripts for podcasts. You jump into a disabled persons post to insist on person first language.
#YouMightBeAbleistIf you make “Squirrel!” Or “Shiny” jokes and believe people with ADHD are lazy.— Emery Wagar (he/they) (@heybluewrites) December 29, 2019
#YouMightBeAbleistIf you congratulate every teen taking someone with a disability to prom. They don’t need medals for treating people as human— 🌊𝕥𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕪 (@hathatsgayyy) December 29, 2019
#YouMightBeAbleistIf you tell me you 'don't see me as disabled'.— Lauren Alexandra 👩🏻🦼♿️🌈 (she/her) (@CrippledChic) December 29, 2019
You're not seeing ME. The disabilty is part of me and I refuse to hide it to make other people less uncomfortable.
#YouMightBeAbleistIf you think someone’s ability to contribute economicly is what makes them a member of society.— Mandiy Savage (@celticorion) December 29, 2019
We are all human and belong in society even those who will never be able to ‘get a job.’
#YouMightBeAbleistIf you scapegoat people with psychiatric disabilities in conversations about homelessness, substance use, and gun control.— HelenRottier (@helenrottier) December 29, 2019
#YouMightBeAbleistIf you tell disabled people that they shouldn't "let" their disability stop them from doing X thing.— Spoonful (@spoonful116) December 29, 2019
Physical limitations are not conscious decisions we make and then decide which ones will "let" stop us.
#YouMightBeAbleistIf you require someone to disclose their disabilities to you in order for you to "believe" them.— The Black Girl Protagonist (@DAJIRUHU) December 29, 2019
#YouMightBeAbleistIf you think a disability or illness "takes away someone's dignity"— public universal fran (they) ♿ (@franrambles) December 30, 2019
we're always worthy of your respect, no matter how ill or disabled we are.
#YouMightBeAbleistIf— Sarah J Waters ♿🌈 #SafeStaffingSavesLives (@Mad_Morag) December 30, 2019
You touch/push/interfere with a disabled person or their equipment/aids without consent. #JustAskDontGrab
You think disabled people are strong/brave/inspirational for doing everyday things
You get defensive/huff when ableism is pointed out #TakingTheDis
#YouMightBeAbleistIf you try to tell a disabled person what is and isn't part of their disability.— D_Human23 (@Dhuman23) December 30, 2019
I had an ex who told me, "It's not about can or can't, you just won't." because I couldn't go up and down stairs multiple times a day due to my fatigue. I've fallen down them twice