If you're able-bodied, recognizing your privilege can be a difficult process. 25 disabled people showed us some of the ways ableism thrives in our world today.
If you don't have a disability - invisible or otherwise - you may not recognize the privilege you experience simply by being able-bodied. After all, the world and all of its infrastructure were built with able-bodied people in mind. When you climb up a flight of stairs fully knowing that there isn't a ramp or an elevator, or go to a public washroom that isn't accessible by those in a wheelchair, you are benefitting from able-bodied privilege. If you don't have to live with chronic pain or experience the stigma of medication, you are benefitting from able-bodied privilege.
And that's the problem with ableism: it's implicit. Unless you're directly affected by ableism, you probably wouldn't even know it exists. Even worse yet, you, in all likelihood, wouldn't know that you're actively contributing to the problem. Every time you park in a handicap parking spot, for instance, or use the accessible toilet, you are sidelining the needs of a whole community of people. If you want to learn how to stop being a part of the systemic problem, then you have to read this viral Twitter thread. Twitter user Imani_Barbarin took to the website to ask disabled folk to share their experiences with ableism. She stated, "Let’s finally tell ableds what their ableism actually says about them. #UHateDisabledPeople." The hashtag almost immediately started trending, and responses to her tweet came in from across the world. Here are some of the responses she received.
If you insist on high talking at me, a grown-ass woman, while bending over with “prayer hands” in my face as if I’m your toddler, simply because I’m in a wheelchair, #UHateDisabledPeople— ✌️💜🌈 TangledUpInHere🌻 ♿️🦋 (@TangledUpInHere) January 25, 2020
You don’t trust us to know our own minds or be experts on our own experience. You treat us like children and you won’t admit it. #UHateDisabledPeople— my real name is in my bio (@beetrix) January 25, 2020
A lot of “health” talk comes across as Eugenics 101 and we SEE you. 👀 #UHateDisabledPeople— my real name is in my bio (@beetrix) January 25, 2020
The fact that there are people on this thread more upset about being called "abled" than learning what the hashtag is about is exactly why the hashtag is needed. Its astounding to me.— When Does Preseason Start? 🦅💚🦅💚 (@JessBleedsGreen) January 25, 2020
If you automatically go into panic mode when you see a person in a wheelchair and can no longer control your own gait, start weaving about, suddenly unsure of where to go, even though there’s tons of room for everyone and I’m not anywhere near you #UHateDisabledPeople #StayRight— ✌️💜🌈 TangledUpInHere🌻 ♿️🦋 (@TangledUpInHere) January 25, 2020
If you run your campaign on disparaging disabled people, clearly #UHateDisabledPeople— ✌️💜🌈 TangledUpInHere🌻 ♿️🦋 (@TangledUpInHere) January 26, 2020
I have a condition that is considered a disability but is not visible, I often get you don’t look like you have a disability. It makes me feel like I can’t consider myself other-abled. #UHateDisabledPeople— Bambi Salisbury (@BambiS_78) January 25, 2020
If I come to the shelter to adopt a dog and you won’t take a dog out for me to visit because you “just don’t get how I could ever take care of an animal in my condition” (which you don’t even know) #UHateDisabledPeople— ✌️💜🌈 TangledUpInHere🌻 ♿️🦋 (@TangledUpInHere) January 25, 2020
If I attend a non medical, non hospital based activity, and all you can think to do is inquire about my body and extent of disabilities, #UHateDisabledPeople— ✌️💜🌈 TangledUpInHere🌻 ♿️🦋 (@TangledUpInHere) January 25, 2020
If you offer to pick me up and carry me into the inaccessible PUBLIC restrooms or your place of business rather than installing a ramp or advocating for one. #UHateDisabledPeople— ✌️💜🌈 TangledUpInHere🌻 ♿️🦋 (@TangledUpInHere) January 25, 2020
If youre a family member and you talk over your child/whatever’s disabilty. Ie my mother taking me to the dmv and spitting out “Please be nice, she has autism” #UHateDisabledPeople— I do cursed things (@ArminTheArlert1) January 25, 2020
I guess you could say that an abled person just doesn't look capable of anything. So how would that feel? The worst thing in the world is to tell a disabled person that they "don't look sick" as they stand there ready to collapse in pain.#UHateDisabledPeople— Jayne Cudzil (@JayneCudzil) January 25, 2020
“What happened to you?” And “I hope you get better.”— Susana D (@SusanaDee) January 26, 2020
When you hold your meeting/party/service/event in a room only reachable by stairs #UHateDisabledPeople— Michelle (@wordsbymj) January 25, 2020
When I consider myself a failure because I didn't finish college, my ableism is internalized. #UHateDisabledPeople— Ashley Reynolds (@AshleyBbD) January 25, 2020
#UHateDisabledPeople when you increase the price of our prescription medication.— David Leavitt (@David_Leavitt) January 25, 2020
If you use lines like:— Sarah Colero🥄🌱 (@Sarah_Colero) January 25, 2020
"you're too pretty to be disabled!"
"You don't look disabled!"
"You're too young to be disabled!"
or any such line relating someone's appearance to them having a disability; #UHateDisabledPeople
If you think:— Jay (@ScouseSocialism) January 25, 2020
1.) Disabled people get too much in benefits
2.) Disabled people should be happy with things the way they are
3.) People in wheelchairs or using walkers 'have it easy'
4.) Our needs aren't important because we're a 'niche' #UHateDisabledPeople
When you think disabled people should get a job but you won't hire us #UHateDisabledPeople— 🏳️⚧️Eli 🐏♿️ (@EAggergren) January 25, 2020
If your absence policy makes it impossible for disabled students to succeed, #UHateDisabledPeople— *suspicious crunching* (@_sydeli) January 25, 2020
When you accuse someone of faking their pain because they’re able do something today that they were in too much pain to do last time. #UHateDisabledPeople— Elle | Bookish Spoonie ☾ (@ElleMN0P_) January 25, 2020
When you design and build a brand new building that has zero wheelchair access despite it being 2020, #UHateDisabledPeople— Leigh ♿️🏳️🌈🔯 (@WheelieQueer) January 25, 2020
If your instinct when seeing someone in a wheelchair/using an assistive device is to pray over them for healing with or without consent #UHateDisabledPeople— Chronic Tori 🥄 (@torilynnlovie) January 25, 2020