Text-based info-graphic that describes ableism as "prejudice against people with disabilities" and gives common examples of ableism.
Image Description: Text on aqua background that defines ableism and gives examples of ableist thoughts and behavior.

Want to tell the world what you just learned? Download this graphic to share!

Did you know?

Emily Ladau (whose definition is quoted here) is a disabled author and activist. If you are ready to take a deeper dive into understanding disability, her book, “Demystifying Disability” is a great place to start!

Attitudes, actions, and circumstances that devalue people because they are disabled or perceived as having a disability.

Emily Ladau

“Attitudes, actions, and circumstances…”

Attitudes, actions, and circumstances describe:

  • The things we believe (see core beliefs)
  • The things we do or say
  • The way our environment (including people and places) impacts us

“… that devalue people…”

There are different ways that people are devalued. Some common examples are:

  • Calling someone a rude name, like the “R-word” (intentional ableism)
  • Making fun of someone because of their disability (intentional ableism)
  • Ignoring a disabled person’s language preferences (intentional ableism)
  • Inviting someone to a restaurant without checking to see if it is accessible or has accommodations (unintentional ableism)
  • Assuming a disabled person needs help without asking them (unintentional ableism)

“… because they are disabled or perceived as having a disability.”

This part of the definition comes from the federal definition of disability used by the United States government (see disability).

Back to the Families page.