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Ableism (Template:IPAc-en[1]) is a form of discrimination or social prejudice against people with disabilities. It is known by many names, including disability discrimination, physicalism, handicapism, and disability oppression.Template:Sfn It is also sometimes known as disablism, although there is some dispute[clarification needed] as to whether ableism and disablism are synonymous, and some[who?] people within disability rights circles find the latter term's use inaccurate.[citation needed] Discrimination faced by those who have or are perceived to have a mental disorder is sometimes called mentalism rather than ableism.[citation needed]

Definition

Similar to many of the assumptions underlying the medical model of disability amongst many clinicians, the "ableist" societal world-view is that the able-bodied are the norm in society, and that people who have disabilities must either strive to become that norm or should keep their distance from able-bodied people. A disability is thus, inherently, a "bad" thing that must be overcome. The ableist worldview holds that disability is an error, a mistake, or a failing, rather than a simple consequence of human diversity, akin to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender.Template:Sfn

Campbell draws a distinction between disablism and ableism. Disablism, she notes, has been the traditional focus of study within the field of disability studies. Disablism promotes the unequal treatment of the (physically) disabled versus the able-bodied. It marks the disabled as the Other, and works from the perspective of the able-bodied.Template:Sfn

Campbell acknowledges that the concept of ableism is, as of 2009, not clearly defined in the literature and has "limited definitional or conceptual specifity".Template:Sfn She herself distinguishes between ableism and disablism, defining the former as:

A network of beliefs, processes and practices that produces a particular kind of self and body (the corporeal standard) that is projected as the perfect, species-typical, and therefore essential and fully human. Disability is then cast as a diminished state of being human.Template:SfnTemplate:Sfn

Other definitions of ableism include those of Chouinard, who defines it as "ideas, practices, institutions, and social relations that presume able-bodiedness, and by so doing, construct persons with disabilities as marginalized […] and largely invisible 'others'"Template:SfnTemplate:Sfn and Amundson and Taira, who define it as "a doctrine that falsely treats impairments as inherently and naturally horrible and blames the impairments themselves for the problems experienced by the people who have them".Template:SfnTemplate:Sfn

Harpur argues that the term ableism is a powerful label that has the capacity to ameliorate the use of negative stereotypes and facilitate cultural change by focusing attention on the discriminator rather than on the victim or impairment.[2]

United Kingdom

In the UK, disability discrimination became unlawful as a result of the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act and, later, the Disability Discrimination Act 2005. These were later repealed but the substantive law is replicated in the Equality Act 2010. Under the Equality Act 2010 there are several types of discrimination that are prohibited. These are direct discrimination (s.13(1) Equality Act 2010), indirect discrimination (s.6 and s.19 Equality Act 2010, harassment (s.26 Equality Act 2010), victimisation (s.27(2) Equality Act 2010), discrimination arising from disability (s.15(1) Equality Act 2010) and failure to make reasonable adjustments (s.20 Equality Act 2010).

The legal definition of disability is:

"A person (P) has a disability if P has a physical or mental impairment, and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities". (Section 6(1), Equality Act 2010)

Some conditions (such as blindness, AIDS and cancer) are expressly included; others (such as drug and alcohol addictions) are expressly excluded.

Legal experts have suggested that this definition of disability may change as a result of a Danish case currently before the European Court of Justice.[3]

USA

Until the 1970s, ableism in the United States was often codified into law. For example, in many jurisdictions, so-called "ugly laws" barred people from appearing in public if they had diseases or disfigurements that were considered unsightly.[4][5]

Section 504 and other sections of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) enacted into law certain civil penalties for failing to make public places comply with access codes known as the ADA Access Guidelines (ADAAG); this law also helped expand the use of certain adaptive devices, such as TTYs (phone systems for the hearing/speech impaired), some computer-related hardware and software, wheelchair ramps or lifts on public transportation and curb-cuts at intersections which allow wheelchairs and their users to safely move between sidewalks and crosswalks. In addition these laws prohibit direct discrimination against disabled people in government programs, employment, public transit and public accommodations like stores and restaurants.

The building modification provisions of these directives apply to three general categories of buildings: existing government administration buildings and structures regardless of age; all newly-constructed buildings and structures intended for use as public accommodations like stores and restaurants; significantly renovated and/or refurbished buildings and structures and any public accommodation where the cost of modification is slight when compared with the income it generates. The US government also offered significant tax incentives to businesses to make these modifications.

The federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of disability and requires that newly constructed multi-family housing meet certain access guidelines while requiring landlords to allow disabled persons to modify existing dwellings for accessibility.

The Telecommunications Act, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Air Carriers Access Act, Voting Accessibility Act and others have codified the notion that persons with disabilities have some of the same rights and privileges as other citizens.[6].

California

In addition to the federal protections provided by the ADA, California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) provides additional protections to California employees. Notably, FEHA applies to employers with 5 or more employees and offers more extensive protection than the ADA.[7]

See also

References

Bibliography

Further reading

External links

Template:Disability navbox Template:Discrimination

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