Ableism: Is the Problem Really What You Think? Check your Own Biases
Updated: Apr 10, 2022
Here’s the thing I know when we look at most people with a disability, whether it is physical or mental, one of the first thoughts people have is they can’t do a certain something. This, to me, is quite comical because the term disabled is implied to mean that something can’t be done when in actuality, people with such life experience are the most capable people I have ever known. However, in terms of seeking employment, that belief is unrecognized. Research data shows that with all age groups, individuals with a disability were less likely to be employed than those who do not have a disability (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021).
Maybe it is time that we understand why such evidence exists. Just in my time on social media this week, I came across a young man shopping with his mom at a Walmart, and he noticed a display shelf was destroyed. The first thing he did was straighten the shelf and put all of the products in place. The post advocated for workers with disabilities to be looked at as trusted employees rather than a liability. I believe that is something we as a society should take a deeper look into. Some of the best workers are the ones you would think about giving a second look, and if that is the case, which party is missing out in this scenario?
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021, February 24). Persons with a disability: Labor force characteristics summary. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved September 9, 2021, from https://www.bls.gov/news.release/disabl.nr0.htm.