My friend Elle is writing about disability at The Affliction Fiction. She’s super eloquent, informed, and has extremely good things to say about stuff like systemic ableism. She also writes about general geekery like games, if you’re into that sort of thing :p
I remember the first time I got called ableist. It was a couple years ago and I got defensive as hell. I’d never heard the term and I thought it was ridiculous. Of course, I was very wrong.
Ableism is something I now face all the time. It can be very hard to identify if you don’t suffer from it. It relates to disability, physical health, and mental health, and those whose experience of these things makes them vulnerable to exclusion or ridicule.
As Elle explains in her Ableism 101 series, systemic ableism is “ingrained ableism within our social structures that hold disabled people back from full participation in society on a ongoing basis.”
She covers a number of areas where this occurs – accessibility, the medical system, the education/academic system, employment and poverty, bureaucracy, and media representation. You should really read it cos it’s damn good. It expresses very clearly a lot of the things I and many other people with disabilities deal with on a daily basis.
It’s seriously gratifying to read this stuff written in a way that’s both accessible to able people, and comforting in the “I’m not alone” feeling it gives to those of us who experience ableism.