Sunday, October 21, 2018

Ableist Privilege Explained

We were going to meet friends for lunch, Joe wanted to pop up to the room to drop off stuff we didn't need. I pulled over and waited, not realizing that I had backed into place beside a luggage cart. As soon as I saw it I fled and parked much further away. I sat there with my heart beating in my chest. Panic.

I noted that beside the luggage cart was a popular place for the non-disabled to wait for each other. Three or four people did so in the time I waited for Joe. I knew that with the conference in the hotel the elevators caused a bit of a wait time. So I watched them stand there, no anxiety. No fear.


I have been mistaken for luggage.

I have been treated like luggage.

I have been transformed into a thing to be moved.

I know what it's like to assume my humanity when others do not.

I have had my chair grabbed and shoved, against my will.

I have been made to move to get out of the way when I was already out of the way.

I have been referred to as a tripping hazard by overzealous security guards.


I am not luggage.

Here's the thing. Ableist privilege is being able to stand by a luggage cart with the surety that passers by can see the difference.

The. Difference.

1 comment:

whimspot said...

Hi Dave...I got pointed to your blog today. I have a brother who is blind. I understand the concept of ableism. In his case , people say, oh... his other senses must be so much better than our mainstream senses....Yeah, I think...he can smell your farts 100 times more than you can because he can't distract himself with his vision...... I know this has little to do with this particular post of yours, but I look forward to reading more of your blog.