Ableism is not a list of bad words. Language is *one* tool of an oppressive system. Being aware of language — for those of us who have the privilege of being able to change our language — can help us understand how pervasive ableism is. Ableism is systematic, institutional devaluing of bodies and minds deemed deviant, abnormal, defective, subhuman, less than. Ableism is *violence.*
Ableism is entrenched in our history and culture. One of the most insidious expressions of ableism comes in our everyday use of language. In this post from the blog Autistic Hoya, Lydia Brown identifies common words that have historic or contemporary links to ableism. Lydia Brown does not advocate a blanket ban on all of these terms; rather, Lydia suggests that we must be mindful of the connotations of the words we choose, particularly when communicating strong feelings. The post concludes with a list of alternative, non-ableist terms that can be substituted.
Autistic Hoya: Ableism/Language