In Canada, there are at least 400,000 children and youth with disabilities. Young people with disabilities routinely face the consequences of stigma – staring, whispers, name-calling, social exclusion, bullying, inaccesible spaces or events, and outright discrimination at school, in the workplace, and in the media. This is ableism, and it's on us to do something about it.
Ableism is the discrimination towards someone based on their abilities, often favouring those who do not have a disability. This often creates stigma that sees people with disabilities as being less worthy of respect and consideration, less able to contribute or participate, or of less value than others. It can be reflected in actions, words, behaviours, and accessibility issues.
To end ableism, non-disabled people need to understand the meaning of ableism and how it occurs in harmful words and language, actions, behaviours, ideologies, and accessibility issues. That's why we're asking you to join the Holland Bloorview Foundation community and participate in important conversations about ableism on social media and with friends, family, and colleagues.
From inaccessible washrooms, to impolite stares, to exclusionary events or activities, it's time we eliminate these barriers and become thoughtful about being inclusive for anyone and everyone, especially kids and youth with disabilities. Add your name to join the Holland Bloorview community and learn more about the role you can play in building an inclusive and equitable society for people with disabilities.