Ableism

Imagine you are in a train, sitting in your corner, and doing your stuff. And then you notice three or four people having a heated conversation - except there is absolutely no sound from that side. They are arguing in sign language - and you start feeling uncomfortable, you try to make out what they are talking, and you cannot because you don't know the sign language. You look again, they seem to be not only having heated conversation, they are also obviously enjoying it. And you get irritated. Or imagine you are inside a mall, in a shop, and the stuff you are looking for is a few shelves away, but in between you and the shelf there is a woman in a wheelchair. You can of course pass her, but it would have been better if nothing had come between you and the object of your desire - certainly not a person in a wheelchair.  And you wonder why people on wheelchair should come to shop, or why these shops allow wheelchairs inside, causing so much trouble for others. Beware. You are practicing ableism. Ableism is prejudice against doing things the way disabled people do - like using a sign language, reading a brail or going in wheel chair.

I wonder the impact this has on the disabled. Do they also get to share the prejudice? Ved Mehta, despite being blind, refused to wear glasses or carry a stick. Was it to protect himself against prejudice? His books and essays give no clue that he is blind - they describe how one looks, how one walks, how one smiles. You will even find him settling down in couch to read a book. Does ableism infect even the disabled? 

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