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Spot the Ableism

The purpose of this assignment: Recognize ableism in social media and to identify the impact it has on people with disabilities.

  1. Go to themighty.com (Links to an external site.) and preview the site.
  2. Find Get Real Health Stories. Pick one story to read.
  3. Analyze the post you chose and identify if there are ableist assumptions or not.
  4. Write a discussion that provides specific examples to back up your findings. Your discussion must include the example and critical analysis that includes references to class discussions and the text to support your conclusion that there is or is not any ableist assumptions.

SAMPLE RESPONSE:

The article I chose is titled, “When a Stanger Said It Was ‘Sad’ That My Brother Has Down Syndrome” by Kyle Voltin. In the article, Kyle tells a story about how he is at a local craft fair, selling his apparel line that is geared to properly fit and benefit people with Down Syndrome. It is when he is saying his mission statement to a stranger, that Kyle shows them a picture of his brother, immediately after, the stranger makes the comment, “Oh, that’s so sad”. Kyle then writes to explain how he threw off from the comment and decides to avoid confrontation at the time, which he then regrets later.

As we have learned in our lectures, ableism is, “the false idea that disabled people are by default inferior…”. Therefore, I believe the comment itself from the stranger was an obvious form of ableism because the stranger genuinely believed as though the comment was necessary because it is an ‘unfortunate’ thing to happen to someone. That being said, I don’t think the article as a whole was at all an ableist assumption but rather a reaction to one. Kyle goes on a rant about what he wishes he would’ve said or argued to the stranger. He really emphasizes the idea that we learned in the words matter PowerPoint that it is just another way of “a mind and/or body to be”.

  • “I wish I could go back to politely tell her it’s actually quite the opposite. I’m not sad about my brother being born with Down syndrome… I believe I am a better person because of the fact that he’s my brother. The fact that he happens to have Down syndrome is far from sad.”
  • “What is sad is that someone would still immediately jump to such an ignorant conclusion or have the nerve to say that. It bothers me that such a train of thought even exists today.”
  • “If you haven’t gotten to know anyone with Down syndrome well enough to understand that it’s not sad to be born with Down syndrome, that is what’s truly sad.”
  • “Please take the time to get to know someone with Down syndrome. Treat them like you would anyone else. Ask them questions and truly show an interest in them. Come to see that person for who they are and you’ll eventually learn that being born with Down syndrome is anything but sad.”

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