From Disability to Ability: Changing the Phrasing of the Debate
Disability and Society, Vol. 27, 2012
Posted: 30 Jul 2011
Date Written: July, 29 2011
Persons with disabilities have endured discrimination and live under social apartheid. While enlightened people recognise the role that society has in disabling people with impairmenets, there remains a struggle to remove the negative stigma associated with this form of social diversity. There is no silver bullet that will enable persons with disabilities to exercise their human rights as full citizens. One strategy to assist in this struggle is the use of language. This paper focuses on how language can be utilized in the struggle against oppression. This paper reconsiders how disability discrimination is conceived and labelled. There is no uniformly accepted label to describe the discrimination and oppression that is explained by the social model or the non-radical social model. This paper explores how the labels of disableism and ableism have emerged to explain this concept. This paper analyses these terms and argues for the adoption of ablest nomenclature.
Keywords: Impairments, disability, discrimination
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