Physical Disability Discrimination
Politics and Activism

Physical Disability Discrimination

How it affects millions of people all over the world, from the perspective of someone who lives with one.

857
ccvsi.mx

Have you ever felt judged over the clothes that you wore? Or the way you styled your hair? Imagine feeling like that every day, but over something that you cannot control. Feeling scrutinized, picked apart, receiving dirty looks from random people. Unfortunately, that is something I experience often. The thing that upsets me the most is how people stigmatize me because of my physical disability. Some assume things that aren’t true. It’s almost as if the word “disability” has a negative connotation. The point is, there is prejudice and discrimination towards people with physical disabilities, contrary to what some people believe.

According Dictionary.com, prejudice is “an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.” An example of this is people automatically assuming that because someone has a physical disability, they also have a cognitive or developmental one. This has happened to me countless times, especially when I’m with a friend shopping or having lunch. People direct the questions to the person I’m with, as if I can’t comprehend English or understand what they are saying. It really makes no sense because if you think about it, what evidence or reason does a person have to support or explain why they do that? Secondly, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, discrimination is “the practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other people or groups of people.” An example of this is excluding someone from a group because of their disability. When I was younger, some of my friends would exclude me from hanging out with them because I couldn’t keep up, and then get annoyed with me or would not be willing to hear me out when I would try to express my feelings about it. Another thing that I cannot stand is people taking pity on others who have a disability. Yes, we’ve been through a lot and have overcome our fair share of obstacles, but you don’t have to feel sorry for us. Speaking for myself, treat me like any other human being.

Well that may be true, having a physical disability does its own set of baggage and as a result, discrimination and prejudice. Tiffany Carlson, a writer at The Huffington Post, points out six types of discrimination that disabled people face the most often in her online article: first, people assuming that we have a kind of mental disability just because we’re physically disabled, like I previously mentioned. Secondly, taxis or other transportation passing us by because they don’t want to deal with our extra needs – (little do they know, anyone hailing a cab by themselves can probably handle transferring on their own). Third, public places not being handicap accessible, which really irks me. According to the United States Department of Labor, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) “prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental activities. The ADA also establishes requirements for telecommunications relay services.” This means that any public space needs to be handicap accessible by law. Unfortunately, some people and business owners think that certain buildings are grandfathered-in to the ADA, and therefore do not need to be handicap accessible, but that is false. But the saddest part is that so many businesses owners just don’t care and purposefully choose to discriminate.

I’ve been to countless places where a ramp is on the complete opposite side of the sidewalk to the building. Even to places with no handicap accessible doors – to the point where I’m not even surprised anymore when businesses don’t have them. Fourth is wheelchair quotas – a number of how many wheelchairs are allowed certain places. Concert venues, airplanes, city buses, amusement park rides are a few examples. While this isn’t illegal discrimination, these rules can be very limiting, forcing people to change their plans or not being able to do something, such as going to their favorite concert, so to me it’s just as bad as discrimination. Strangers pretending that they don’t see disabled people is the fifth one, whether they’re cutting the line in front of you, cutting you off while ignoring you as they try to get past you, or purposefully avoiding your gaze when you need help getting something from a store shelf, for example. Last, but not least, there are people taking handicapped parking spots. This happens to me almost daily. It just infuriates me how people take the handicapped spots for convenience in broad daylight, where a severely disabled person could come along and really need that spot. I even try not to use them if there is another regular parking spot close because there could be someone who needs the handicap spot way more than I do.

In conclusion, there is no denying that people with physical disabilities face discrimination and prejudice in different ways in different aspects of life, whether it be a condescending person, someone who pities you, or someone who is just being plain rude. It can also occur in public spaces or buildings. I realize that society as a whole cannot change its ways and life is not perfect for anyone, and it shouldn’t be, but if more people changed their view, or were willing to alter their perspective a little and have some empathy, it would change life for disabled people.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

13 Father's Day Shirts Under $30 To Gift The Dad Wearing The Same Two Every Day In Quarantine

You've been begging him to change it up, and now he won't have a choice.

Let's be honest: most of our dads are wearing the same shirts today that they probably wore while changing our diapers and holding our hands as we learned to walk. Sure, we love them for it. But whether you're quarantined with him wearing the same two shirts on rotation every week, or every time you FaceTime him, you know what he'll be wearing before he answers the phone, he needs to add some new items to his wardrobe rotation.

And you know dads — they'll feel guilted into using practically anything you were to give them. But these shirts are sure-fire ways to get him to switch up his wardrobe, and he'll be more than excited to wear each and every one of them. Plus, most of them are under twenty dollars, so no harm in dropping more than a couple in to your cart and letting Dad have his pick of his favorites.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Sat Down (Virtually) With Hollis Tuttle To Talk About Coronavirus's Impact On The Wellness Industry

Just because coronavirus has greatly impacted the wellness industry doesn't mean wellness stops.

If you're anything like me, your weekly fitness classes are a huge part of your routine. They keep me fit, healthy, and sane. Honestly, these classes help my mental health stay in tip-top shape just as much as they help my physical health.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, gyms and fitness studios are facing temporary closure. Yes, this means my personal routine is thrown a curveball, but this also means the wellness industry is one of many that is looking at unemployment and hardship. Do I miss my Monday spin class? Of course. But do the wellness professionals whose worlds were flipped upside down have a lot more to overcome than a slight change of routine? Absolutely. Thankfully, if anyone can prove the ultimate flexibility, it's the wellness industry.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

My Boyfriend Has Changed Since Quarantine Began, And I Don't Know What To Do

"All he says is 'I love you,' which is great and all but OMG I can't get anything else out of him."

Each week Swoonie B will give her advice on anonymous topics submitted by readers. Want to Ask Swoonie B something related to dating and relationships? Fill out this form here — it's anonymous.

Dear Swoonie B,

My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost a year, which has been the best year of my life (as far as i know). Well we go to different schools and are both very involved in sports and school activities which makes it hard to see each other. During this quarantine it is especially hard. Since we haven't seen each other in over a week things are kind of tense. He won't really talk to me much and I always check in on him to make sure he is doing well and to just see how he is, ya know being a girlfriend. Well apparently that is driving him crazy and I don't understand how. I'm not being controling or clingy, i'm just checking in on him. While this is happening, I also have noticed how he just doesn't really care anymore. I'll leave him paragraphs of sweet love letters to wake up to and I encourage him throughout his day but I just don't get it in return. I love him with all of me and I obviously care about him a lot. Also, I've compared how he talked to me before all of this has happened. He was so sweet and caring, texting me a lot and telling me he loves me and just making sure everything is OK but he doesn't do that anymore. All he says is "I love you," which is great and all but OMG I can't get anything else out of him. He is a little stressed at home with trying to find another job to pay for his car, constantly having to do things for his mom, being responsible for his siblings, and managing school. I know thats a lot but im doing a lot too right now and going through a lot of the same stuff he is but It seems to me he just does not care and i don't know what to do. Please help me or give me some advice on what to say, what not to say, what to do, what not to do. Anything at this point will help. Thank you!

If I had a dollar for every time I heard "these are unprecedented times," I'd be rich. But that's because it's true!

Keep Reading... Show less
Tower 28

On paper, Amy Liu appears to be one of the most intimidating women in the beauty business. Not only was she the person to build Smashbox Cosmetics into what it is today, she went on to lead luxury, high-end brands like Kate Somerville and Josie Maran — just to name a few.

But sitting down to meet Liu for the first time in an underground New York bar over a year ago felt like meeting a friend I'd known since childhood. As she walked into the bar in a chic red dress, it was impossible not to feel her immediate warm presence. When she talks about her history as an entrepreneur (and truly, at heart, she always was one), you don't get the sense that she's selling you anything, though with her impeccable taste, I'd use anything that had her glowing review attached to it.

Keep Reading... Show less

Sixth grade was the year that you were allowed to participate in a school sport. This was what my friends and I had all been waiting for since we started middle school. I had already made the cheer team with my friends, but I had to wait to start that in the winter since we cheered for basketball. I really wanted to have some sort of activity in the fall, but I did not know what to do. Somehow, I decided to run cross country. Not really sure how I decided on a sport where it was quite literally just running. A few of my friends were doing it as well, so I knew it was going to be fun.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Working Out Every Day During Quarantine Helps Me Feel A Sense Of Control

Physical activity helps my mental health in a world that feels uncertain.

Before the pandemic, I exercised a handful of times a week at best. In quarantine, I've been exercising every single day. I don't want this article to be another spiel about how exercise "changed my life," and all the other cliches that health gurus use to convince others to work out more. Rather, I want to reveal that exercise is a tool that works for me because it boosts my mental health when I feel like the world is spiraling out of control.

Keep Reading... Show less

To say that 2020 has been a bit of a roller coaster is an extreme understatement. Who knew that this decade was going to start off like THIS!? Not me, not you, and not that sweet old lady who lives down the street. One thing is certain though — while the world may be a mess right now, you can still fuel your body with food that keeps you happy and healthy. Thankfully, as we are all spending more time inside, you can get healthy snacks delivered straight to your front door! Amazon has never been more convenient (and tasty).

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments