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Essay on Ableism



Ableism is a discrimination against people with disabilities, which means that a disabled person is treated worse than a person without a disability or would be treated in the same situation.

By far the most common reason that people with disabilities being discriminated is inaccessibility. This type of discrimination can occurs in many cases with no direct intention and due to ignorance of the conditions and needs of persons with disabilities. The lack of intent does not affect the actual exclusionary consequences for the person.

Unlawful discrimination is defined in Chapter 16 ยง9 of the Penal Code and thus is no basis for the justice system to prosecute anyone because of discrimination against people with disabilities. In other words, it does not fall under public prosecution. In practice this means that the police cannot arrest someone who discriminated people with disabilities and as no criminal offense had been committed.

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Disability and Independent Living movement since the late 1980s has stressed the need for a legal basis for the discrimination of people with disabilities. It resulted in adoption of some discrimination laws, both by domestic and particularly international initiatives. For example, the EU by Directive forced countries members to introduce first individual discrimination laws regarding employment (1999) and higher education (2001) of the disabled people.

The most wide spread type of discrimination against persons with disabilities is inaccessibility: steps, stairs, sills, and heavy doors, as well as narrow aisles in stores for a customer who uses a wheelchair.

People of small stature are affected in part by the same type of discrimination that persons with disabilities. Another common problem is that the sink in public toilets cannot be used. It can also be seen as discriminatory to have to buy clothes in the children’s department or not being able to use safety devices such as seat belts, which can be dangerous to life and health.

Discrimination against people with allergies can manifest itself in many ways depending on the type of the allergy. Such cases can occur, for example, during a public meeting is whether someone smokes or uses strong perfume during the meeting, or if the meeting room is decorated with flowers that give off pollen.

A common form of discrimination against people with impaired vision is to not think about the contrast between text and background in such ads, making them difficult to read for a person with low vision, or not to allow guide dogs in their shop premises (which is no legal requirement).

So-called background music that play in stores can be perceived as discriminatory for a person with a hearing loss that may then find it difficult to hold a conversation or hear what the store staff said. Although not subtitling movies in theaters often perceived as discrimination against people with deafness or hearing loss.

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