Naturalistic Neurodiversity

Exploring our differences through science.

Posts Tagged ‘Wheelchair

Ableism in Atheism Anonymous #43

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Do you consider yourself to be a person with a disability?

No.

Have you (or do you personally know someone who has) felt out-of-place or limited your involvement with an atheist community because of disability-related situations?

No.

What steps could atheist communities take to become more inclusive?

Awareness is the first step. Meetings at accessible places, facilities for disabled people, polite pointing out of ablest language – idiom is a strong force, and just as sexist language is often a matter of ingrained idiom I suspect ableist language will be also. People shouldn’t be vilified for well intentioned mistakes, though those who become assholes when challenged are fair game ūüôā

Response #43 from the Ableism in Atheism survey.

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Written by The Nerd

May 30, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Ableism in Atheism Anonymous #42

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Do you consider yourself to be a person with a disability?

No.

Have you (or do you personally know someone who has) felt out-of-place or limited your involvement with an atheist community because of disability-related situations?

No.

What steps could atheist communities take to become more inclusive?

have discussions about ableist terms and why they’re ableist; work to combat the stigma around mental illnesses and debunk myths about them

Any other thoughts about ableism and atheism?

I wish prominent atheists would stop calling people/ideas they disagree with “crazy.”

Response #42 from the Ableism in Atheism survey.

Written by The Nerd

May 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Ableism in Atheism Anonymous #37

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Do you consider yourself to be a person with a disability?

In the sence that I am close to totally blind, I guess that I’m disabled, however, I don’t really think of myself as a disabled person because I get out and am part of my community. I just think of myself as “just John.”

Have you (or do you personally know someone who has) felt out-of-place or limited your involvement with an atheist community because of disability-related situations?

No.

What steps could atheist communities take to become more inclusive?

I believe that ¬†disabled atheists we either get out to functions or we don’t. ¬†If a person wants to be included she/he will make the effort to get out and be part of whatever group. ¬†If, for instance a person has mobility issues it would be nice if ramps are included. ¬†I am assisted by a guide dog and have very little difficulty getting around but I understand that a wheelchair user might be limited if a facility is not wheelchair freindly.

Any other thoughts about ableism and atheism?

I am an out gay man and I am also blind.  My thoughts are that a person is whoever and whatever she/he percieves themselves to be.  There are perfectly normal persons that are more disabled than some persons that are severely limited either by mobility or sight.  Everything depends on attitude and how you percieve yourself.

Response #37 from the Ableism in Atheism survey.

Note: I don’t necessarily agree with all of the above (especially the parts that sound like The Secret) but I’m not interested in silencing the perspectives of people with disabilities either.

Written by The Nerd

May 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Ableism in Atheism Anonymous #35

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Do you consider yourself to be a person with a disability?

No.

Have you (or do you personally know someone who has) felt out-of-place or limited your involvement with an atheist community because of disability-related situations?

No.

Any other thoughts about ableism and atheism?

I work with the Disabled Students Program at UCSB, so I’m perhaps a little more aware of ADA issues than most people. When I notice accessibility issues with websites I try to inform someone. On occasion I have transcribed the textual images or short audio/video clips in comment forums, and had had people express that they are deaf or blind and rely on things like that.

I think it’s yet another area of privilege. Most people don’t mean to make things difficult for disabled, but are just not aware of the issues. I routinely remind businesses that they cannot block the sidewalk with their signs. Real Estate agents are the worst, and often have to simply be referred to the city’s code enforcement division.

Response #35 from the Ableism in Atheism survey.

Ableism in Atheism Anonymous #6

with one comment

Do you consider yourself to be a person with a disability?

No.

Have you (or do you personally know someone who has) felt out-of-place or limited your involvement with an atheist community because of disability-related situations?

No.

What steps could atheist communities take to become more inclusive?

I think wheelchair access would be a big one, but what do you mean by “able-ist?” Stuff like “We can’t run from these problems?” If that’s the problem, some people are just way too sensitive. Wheelchair access is about the only thing I can think of.

Any other thoughts about ableism and atheism?

I would think they were independent events, so about the same percentage of atheists are disabled as within other groups. Seriously though, what the heck is “able-ism?”

The above has been response #6 from the Ableism in Atheism survey.

It is a common response that people say “you’re way too sensitive” when regarding issues of accessibility to atheist events. Notice how this person self-identifies as not having a disability, and in fact doesn’t even know what ableism is. This is what’s known as “able-bodied privilege“. Privilege is essentially the ability to benefit from having all of society tailored to you and people like you, without your participation even being required for that to happen. In other words, through no fault of hir own other than the accident hir birth and life, this person is able to go through life not knowing how difficult life is for people with disabilities.¬†Does that mean that people with disabilities are “too sensitive” in demanding¬†accommodations? ¬†By no means! They simply are stating their particular needs from their particular perspective. Everyone has a right to do that.

As far as “what the heck is ‘able-ism’?” goes, this person is doing ableism. Telling someone that their reasonable requests to assess and assert the need for accessibility are “too sensitive” is ableism. It is normal and healthy for people to say what they need when they need it. As social creatures, we need to be able to form communities with people who make us feel safe and welcome. As a humanist, it is in my interest to find out how I can cast a wider net, so to speak, in reaching out to others in forming a sense of humanist community with others. Thus, it is also in my best interest as a humanist to “search and destroy” ableist attitudes within my mind. I hope that the people reading this post can take it upon themselves to do so as well.

Written by The Nerd

April 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm