Dec 10, 2019
Today’s guest takes us on a fascinating and educational journey
into ableism, the
study of disabilities and prejudices of disabilities.
Dr. Michelle Nario-Redmond, a social psychologist at Hiram
College in Hiram, Ohio, joins Amanda and Vickie to discuss changing
people’s perceptions about disability.
Michelle is the author of Ableism: The Causes and
Consequences of Disability Prejudice, and the mom of a 23-year
old daughter with spina bifida, who was raised to be a proud,
- Michelle provides an overview of the origins of ableism, and of
which literature can be found in political science, psychoanalysis,
psychology, and disability studies.
- There are several distinct sources of prejudice that impact
individual thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, such as:
- an evolutionary/biological basis for fear: humans have a need
to feel safe and secure, and might have avoided those who signaled
poor health, even in those instances where there was no
- the fear of becoming disabled, since most disability is
acquired through spinal cord injury or old age.
- how the media portrays individuals.
- Ableism is the study of prejudice and discrimination against
people who are considered to have a disability.
- The ABC’s of ableism:
- A - attitudes
- B - behaviors
- C - cognitions
- Michelle addresses the preferred language to use when referring
to the disabled. Are they “living with a disability” or do they
“have” a disability? Just ask the person their preference! Everyone
will have a reason why they prefer one term over the other.
- “Experiencing” a mental health “condition” is a kinder way than
saying “mental illness” because the latter term pathologizes those
who have depression, schizophrenia, etc.
- There’s a new hashtag out from people working in this field
doing disability studies and activism, reminding others that
disability isn’t a bad word: #saytheword.
- Although born of existing legislation, when we continue to use
the words “special needs” we occlude the notion that these are
human needs and civil rights.
- Michelle, Amanda, and Vickie discuss essential and
non-essential qualifiers in the context of a conversation, and the
- Peer-pressure holds a lot of power.
- One way to speak up when someone is being micro-aggressive is
to ask, “What did you mean by that?”
- Michelle shares a personal story and the resulting lesson she
learned when she made a faux pas during an encounter with a young
woman with Down’s Syndrome at a theme park.
- Michelle discusses her next steps, which include policy
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Get the Book Here! Read Excerpts Here!
Ableism: The Causes and
Consequences of Disability Prejudice, by Dr. Michelle
<—20% Discount with Promo Code BBR56 through December