A good place to start is how nondisabled people can avoid giving unnecessary offense to people with disabilities. This may seem like a minor issue compared with larger structural barriers. But the best workplace disability policies and practices can be undone in a moment by thoughtless, corrosive remarks from coworkers.
Speaking of privilege, Many of the wellness types promoting “natural immunity” have benefited from financial access to healthcare, healthy environments, education, and financial resources to improve their health — factors that directly impact a person’s health status. They’re lucky they can access those resources and systems. Others are not so lucky.
There are substantial differences among us. Our disabilities, social backgrounds, and degrees of underlying privilege vary a great deal, even as we are united by the common experience of disability itself. We sometimes disagree not just on strategy, but over which goals we should be working towards, or the meaning of disability itself.
Sutherland said normalising disability and seeing more people with disability participating in society was vital to changing people’s attitudes and getting rid of stereotypes. People with disability often face difficulties in the mainstream workforce, and Sutherland noted this was an area where Australia needs to make inroads.
People with disabilities can be particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change — so why shouldn’t they be at the forefront of climate activism?
It would be an 18-month search with many setbacks. “It was such a patronising experience,” Ms Chong said. “My skills, profession and my dignity were trampled all over. I’d learnt an important lesson though: It’s never a good time to disclose [a disability], but any delay will just complicate things further because it’s detrimental to building trust.”
In less than a decade since “inspiration porn” first surfaced in Ramp Up, an Australian publication focused on disability, the phrase has gained increasing prominence and layers of meaning. It has motivated, or shamed, some news organizations into reconsidering the language and substance of their coverage of people with disabilities. It has gained particular resonance at the Paralympic Games.
In a recent national survey, almost one-in-five people described themselves as “clueless” about how to discuss disability. Wheelchair basketball Paralympian Bridie Kean said while people were more understanding than in the past, she could still be surprised by how someone referred to a person in a wheelchair.
Attitudes are a major concern for Australians with disability. They are related to disability-based discrimination and social exclusion, which in turn impact the health and wellbeing of people with disability. This report describes findings from the first national survey on attitudes toward people with disability. The report has strong signals for business and government about the need for interventions that seek to combat attitudes across organisational and structural levels of society.
The Paralympic Games turn the world’s eyes to the achievements of the superhuman athletes that take part, but the reality is that the vast majority of the millions of disabled people are distinctly ordinary. That recognition – and the desire to have the ordinariness of disability acknowledged by the public – lies behind Adam & Eve DDB’s ’We The 15’ campaign, the name of which references the 15% of the global population who are disabled.
The 2021 Census has been hailed as a giant leap for digital accessibility in Australia, following years of design work and testing by experts and advocates, who say the online form sets a new standard for government content and has improved data quality.
When Nathan Basha was born, his parents were given three options: to “institutionalise” him, adopt him out or take him home. The decision they made was life changing. “My parents made a pact to do everything they could do to make my life as ordinary as possible,” he said.
“I think it’s really important that we do show faces like mine on TV, that maybe have eyes that don’t look like other people’s eyes,” says Nas Campanella. “We live in a community that’s made up of so many different people and TV needs to reflect that. It’s about normalising it and reflecting the community we live in.“
Doctors believed hours of auditory therapy a week and a cochlear implant would allow Oliver to learn to hear and speak. “We were told by the majority of our specialists we couldn’t sign with him because it would affect his ability to listen with his ears,” said Mrs Robertson.
Whether it’s true for us or not, we all know it’s true; some people are still afraid to interact with disabled people. And being more “aware” of disability and living and working with more disabled people doesn’t always mean being comfortable with disabled people. In fact, knowing more about disability discrimination and ableism can actually raise anxiety for some of us.