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Posted on 1 May 2016, 12:24 pm in , , , , , , ,

A mash-up about Blogging Against Disablism Day #BADD2016

Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1st 2016

1 May is the eleventh annual Blogging Against Disablism Day. "This is the day where all around the world, disabled and non-disabled people blog about their experiences, observations and thoughts about disability discrimination (known as disablism or ableism). In this way, we hope to raise awareness of inequality, promote equality and celebrate the progress we've made," says the official site.

I've blogged a couple of times. This year I'm doing a mash-up of those two posts because they still represent my views.

Blogging against blogging against disablism

The problem with blogging against disablism is that "disablism" is the wrong term. We should be blogging against ablism. Ablism is the preference for or normative belief that being able is better or superior than not being able, in the same way that heterosexism is the preference for or normative belief that being heterosexual is better or superior than not being heterosexual.

So blogging against disablism is like blogging against homosexism. 

That said, blogging against dysfunctionphobia, the fear or hate of losing function, might be a more useful thing. Dysfunctionphobia goes a long way towards creating ablism in the same way as homophobia does heterosexism. 

Dysfunctionphobia also focuses on the need for individuals to examine their beliefs and values about function, in the same way as homophobia points at individual biases about sexual orientation. 

Heterosexism and ablism are structural consequences that exist as a gestalt of individuals' homo- and dysfunctionphobic attitudes. They are difficult to influence individually. 

Conversely, individuals are held accountable and chastised for homophobic statements or acts, like "I hate queers" or gay bashing. But dysfunctionphobic statements or acts — like "I'd hate to be disabled" or living in an inaccessible house — mostly go unchallenged, being deemed natural and beyond an individual's responsibility.

 So, without wanting to be disrespectful to the organisers (good on them), perhaps it could be renamed Blogging Against Dysfunctionphobia Day. Whaddaya reckon?

Blogging for functional diversity

Nearly ten years ago I watched the movie, The Secret, which is, ostensibly, a documentary about the law of attraction. And simply put, the law says that we attract to us whatever we think about. Not only that, but if we think about what we don't want, we attract that too. This is because, at the quantum level, thoughts are pure energy and the universe doesn't recognise "no" (so, when we think, no war, no poverty, no crime, the universe only recognises and delivers war, poverty and crime). Which means that blogging against disablism will, at the quantum level, attract disablism. Oops.

Which brings me to a bigger issue that I've been aware of for a while, since I've been interested in the idea that we create our own reality, of which the law of attraction is but one supporting element (check out the movie What The Bleep Do We Know? for more about creating your own reality). From this perspective, disabled people create disability by thinking we are disabled. Oops again.

So, back to my rationale about blogging for recognition of functional diversity. The key to making the law of attraction work for us is to be very clear of what we want, not just what we don't want. And I want everyone in the world, including people who currently identify with the idea of disability, to recognise and identify with functional diversity. 

I wrote an article on functional diversity in 2007, which was published in the Disability and Rehabilitation journal. You can read the full, published article here: Constructive Functional Diversity.

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