Prejudice about disability

When you have a disability it’s never far away from you emotionally. It’s not something you get to shake off easily either.

But for others living with us, embarrassment would be a good adjective to use and is potentially the reason why there is still a stigma around disability. In the 1960’s when I grew up, disability wasn’t something you talked about, it was simply brushed under the carpet and ignored.

A parent not coping with a disabled child, or not wanting to know is not an excuse. Disability was an embarrassment for families because of society’s attitude. For those of us like myself with a disability, we were considered and referred to as ‘spastic’ by society, it didn’t matter how mild or severe the disability was.

Even though our thinking was normal, we were treated differently because we looked different and therefore weren’t considered normal and because society considered us different, so too were people’s opinion, attitude and understanding of us and our disability. We grew up around non-acceptance.

We have made strides in 2018, but we still need to do more to bring about a permanent change in people’s prejudices and attitude, but it’s not only around disability. I don’t get it. Underneath we’re all the same, therefore shouldn’t we treat everyone in the same way? We create and perpetuate prejudice. It’s unnecessary.

There is a famous quote by Albert Einstein that says, “I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university,” and that is the point. Why does it matter that I have a disability, why does it matter that we look or talk differently, why does it matter that we don’t have the same opinions?

Life is too short for us to judge, or for others to stand in judgment of us. We must learn to be accepting of each other, no matter our gender, race, colour, sexual orientation, or whether we live with a disability. We are all equal and should be treated as such.

We must learn to embrace our differences without pointing the finger and thinking we’re better than someone else, because that’s simply not true. We need to work together, not only for society, but for the world.


17 Mar, 2018

6 thoughts on “Prejudice about disability

  1. Yes, there tends to be a lot of prejudice in the world against anyone who may look different, act different, or even who they label as different, which creates most of the chaos and insanity in the world.

    You were treated very poorly because of your physical issues and we were treated poorly because we were labeled as poor white Trash.

    Both sets of parents were pretty oblivious as to how that affected us, which I think is really the worst crime of all; seeing as it couldn’t have been more obvious of the issues that we were having.

    I could almost understand if they had at least attempted to figure out the issues and not been able to find out the answers, but they were pretty much as plain as the noses on their faces.

    Sadly, people are very judgmental when it comes to anyone who may be seen as different, whether you have a disability or anything that is out of what they consider normal.

    Humans as a species, haven’t evolved much further than being ‘talking monkeys’ in a lot of ways, but there is so much potential,if we could finally focus on how much more alike, no matter who we are, rather than continue to focus on our differences.

    Only time will tell whether the human race survives or not!

    1. Thanks Randy. Yes, I would like to think the human race will survive! I’m not sure I’d like to draw attention to that, but do think you have a point about how we do things.

      Sadly, there are so many of us who have become self-absorbed and that can’t work long term. We need to work and come together more and to include and accept those who deal with a disability.

      We must accept everyone. Others need to let us live our lives as we need to let others live their lives.

  2. There is no place for prejudice of any form in society. Unfortunately, humans are flawed; I doubt we will ever live in a world free from prejudice. It sickens me when I read and hear about it very single day.

    I worry for our children, but I try to be positive that the world will be better for our children and their children. History suggests we are moving very slowly, and only time will tell.

    1. Thanks. Yes, when you’re not born with something, prejudice isn’t something you’re aware of unless it affects you, but all institutions have them.

      It’s not all about disability. We only have to turn on the news to hear about prejudices in the work place, women being paid less than men for the same hours and the same jobs, in society and in cultures.

      I believe more needs to be done. We’re slowly on a collision course, but we still have time to make a u-turn.

  3. Prejudice is designed to steal your dignity without actually knowing who is really stealing it, because it’s so woven. It’s hostility, buried deep down inside very frightened and very insecure people.

    Prejudice will squeeze their throats, not mine.

    1. Thanks Tim. Sadly, although prejudice is something we are, it’s something inherited, and taught through our parents and through the generations.

      That’s how woven it is. As for our dignity, I believe it depends on the person. I think it’s important we understand that other people’s prejudice isn’t about us.

      It’s other people’s opinions of what we deal with. They make it about us.

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