(noun) Prejudice or discrimination against individuals with developmental, emotional, or physical disabilities, in favor of those considered to be able-bodied that leads to treating people with disabilities as inferior.
- An individual with a visible physical disability is denied a server position at an upscale restaurant because their appearance is considered distracting to the clientèle.
- People with a mental disability such as depression are treated as weak or “faking it” because their disability is not visible.
Audio Pronunciation: (a·ble·ism)
Download Audio Pronunciation: ableism.mp3
- The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 made discrimination on the grounds of ableism illegal. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act concerns the use of at the time burgeoning electronic information access, this led to “508 Laws” and the beginning of what would become web standards for people with disabilities. You can view the Open Education Sociology Dictionary’s Accessibility Statement by clicking this link.
- A type of discrimination and prejudice.
- Variant form: ablism
- Also termed:
- disability discrimination
- disability oppression
- An (noun) ableist discriminates against a disabled person.
- Ableism used in a sentence: People with disabilities can experience ableism everyday.
- Campbell, Fiona A. Kumari. 2008. “Exploring Internalized Ableism using Critical Race Theory.” Disability & Society. 23(2): 151-162.
- Campbell, Fiona Kumari. 2009. Contours of Ableism: The Production of Disability and Abledness. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Eisenhauer, Jennifer. 2007. “Just Looking and Staring Back: Challenging Ableism through Disability Performance Art.” Studies in Art Education. 49(1): 7-22.
- Goodley, Dan. 2014. Dis/ability Studies Theorising Disablism and Ableism. London: Routledge.
- Goodley, Dan, Bill Hughes, and Lennard J. Davis. 2012. Disability and Social Theory: New Developments and Directions. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Hehir, Thomas. 2005. New Directions in Special Education: Eliminating Ableism in Policy and Practice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.
- Hehir, Thomas. 2007. “Confronting Ableism.” Educational Leadership. 64(5): 8-14.
- Iwasaki, Yoshitaka, and Jennifer B. Mactavish. 2005. “Ubiquitous Yet Unique: Perspectives of People With Disabilities on Stress.” Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin. 48(4): 194-208.
- Kennedy, Tammie M., and Tracey Menten. 2010. “Reading, Writing, and Thinking about Disability Issues: Five Activities for the Classroom.” English Journal. 100(2): 61-67.
- Lalvani, Priya, and Alicia A. Broderick. 2013. “Institutionalized Ableism and the Misguided ‘Disability Awareness Day’: Transformative Pedagogies for Teacher Education.” Equity & Excellence in Education. 46(4): 468-483.
- Loja, Ema, Maria Emília Costa, Bill Hughes, and Isabel Menezes. 2013. “Disability, Embodiment and Ableism: Stories of Resistance.” Disability & Society. 28(2): 190-203.
- Marshall, Catherine A. 2009. Disabilities: Insights from Across Fields and Around the World. Westport, CT: Praeger.
- McLean, Margaret A. 2012. “Getting to Know You: The Prospect of Challenging Ableism Through Adult Learning.” New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education. 2011(132): 13-22.
- Salmon, N. 2013. “‘We Just Stick Together’: How Disabled Teens Negotiate Stigma to Create Lasting Friendship.” Journal of Intellectual Disability Research. 57(4): 347-358.
- Council for Exceptional Children – The Voice and Vision of Special Education: cec.sped.org
- Southern Poverty Law Center – Teaching Tolerance: tolerance.org
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How to Cite the Definition of Ableism
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “ableism.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved January 21, 2019 (http://sociologydictionary.org/ableism/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
ableism. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from http://sociologydictionary.org/ableism/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “ableism.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed January 21, 2019. http://sociologydictionary.org/ableism/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“ableism.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 21 Jan. 2019. <http://sociologydictionary.org/ableism/>.