2 Microaggressions“Microaggressions are the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.”Derald Wing Sue, Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation, 2010
3 Common Unconscious Stereotypes and Beliefs Disability is: A lesser status, a bad or unfortunate condition, which people should hide. A punishment for immorality or a curse. An opportunity for others to give charity, pity, or obtain self-worth. A condition to be fixed by doctors or avoided (eugenics and the medical model).Medical Model of DisabilityDefinition 1The Medical Model holds that disability results from an individual person’s physical or mental limitations, and is largely unconnected to the social or geographical environments. It is sometimes referred to as the Biological-Inferiority or Functional-Limitation Model.It is illustrated by the World Health Organization’s (WHO's) definitions, which significantly were devised by doctors:Impairment: any loss or abnormality of psychological or anatomical structure or function.Disability: any restriction or lack of ability (resulting from an impairment) to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being.Handicap: any disadvantage for a given individual, resulting from impairment or a disability that limits or prevents the fulfillment of a role that is normal for that individual."From the WHO Classification of Impairments, Disabilities and Handicaps, 1980From this, it is easy to see how people with disabilities might become stigmatized as "lacking" or "abnormal".Nevertheless, society’s beliefs about disability, even if they only originated from eugenic or religious beliefs, are still pervasively negative around the world. These beliefs imprint disability with a sinful or deviant sign, so that people who have disabilities must feel disgrace or guilt about themselves. A society, while holding these negative viewpoints, would not seek any merit from individuals with disabilities. All of the assistance other people in this society offer to PWD merely reflects benevolence and kindness embraced by the providers. In terms of treatment, according to most traditions rooted in eugenic and/or religious beliefs, PWD are separated from the majority and the main goal of the treatment is to maintain PWD’s basic living status, given a society’s humanity (Rubin & Roessler, 2001). Adjusting or promoting PWD’s physical, mental, or environmental conditions, or to empower PWD to live independently, receive little attention.
4 Implicit Bias“Implicit prejudice operates unconsciously and outside awareness,Is empirically distinct from explicit prejudice, andUniquely predicts consequential social judgment and behavior.”Shafir, Eldar, The Behavioral Foundations of Public Policy, “The Nature of Implicit Prejudice” at 18. Princeton University Press (2013)
5 Exclusion and the Medical Model Society has no responsibility to make a "place" for persons with disabilities, since they live in an outsider role waiting to be cured.Michigan Disability Rights Coalition is a disability justice movement working to transform communities
6 SynthesisMicroaggressions are the outward manifestation of unconsciously held stereotypes and biased thinking on the part of often well-meaning people or groups. Microaggressions create/reinforce/evince significant barriers to equality.
7 Taxonomy Microassaults: Conscious and intentional actions or slurs. Microinsults: Verbal and nonverbal communications that subtly convey rudeness. May be couched as compliments.Microinvalidations: Communications that subtly exclude, negate or nullify the thoughts, feelings or experiential reality of a person who identifies as disabled.
8 Theory Mapping Academia (Social science and psych research) Art & Popular CultureLaw Review Articles and Evolution of Critical Legal TheoryEEO and Anti Bullying Training (Intel, OHSU, et al.)
9 Social Science Research Nothing about us without us: A qualitative investigation of the experiences of being a target of ableist microaggressions” by Bell, Ayoka K., Psy.D., JOHN F. KENNEDY UNIVERSITY, 2013, 147 pages..
10 Legal ScholarshipDavis, Peggy C., “Law as Microaggression,” 98 Yale L.J. 1559, 1560 (1989) (defining microaggressions as “incessant, often gratuitous and subtle offenses”)Chew, Pat K. “Seeing Subtle Racism” Stanford Journal of Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, 6 Stan. J. Civ. Rts. & Civ. Liberties 183 (October, 2010)Discrimination in the 21st Century: Are Science and the Law Aligned?, 17 Psychol. Pub. Pol'y & L (2011)See Bibliography
14 Sources of Stereotypes Religious beliefsLegal DiscriminationEugenicsThe Medical ModelLiterature, the arts, and cultureCovering
15 The HierarchyIn school settings, teachers’ attitudes toward students vary based on types of impairments possessed by students with disabilities (Barr & Bracchitta, 2008; Hastings & Oakford, 2003).People with/without disabilities tend to react more favorably toward individuals with physical (paraplegia/leg amputation) and/or sensory (deaf, blind) disabilities than ones with brain-injured disabilities (epilepsy) or mental illnesses (depression, bipolar disorder).
16 Microassaults “Spazz!” “Mental” “Nut case” “Gimp” “Idiot” “Imbecile” “Differently - abled”“Stupid”“Retarded”“Crip”“Vegetable”“Bed-ridden” “Psycho”“brain- damaged” Handicapp edThese include (Keller & Galgay, 2010, pp ):Denial of identity: occurs when any aspect of a person’s identity other than disability is ignored or denied. This can be further divided into denial of personal identity, and denial of experienceDenial of privacy: occurs when personal information is required about a disabilityHelplessness: occurs when people frantically try to help PWDs.Secondary gain: occurs when a person expects to feel good or be praised for doing something for a PWDSpread effect: occurs when other expectations about a person are assumed to be due to one specific disabilityPatronization: occurs when a PWD is praised for almost anything, or is treated like a child (infantilization)Second-class citizenship: occurs when a PWD’s right to equality is denied because they are considered to be bothersome, expensive, and a waste of time, effort, and resourcesDesexualization: occurs when the sexuality and sexual being is denie
17 Microinsults • You have a disability? • What’s your disability? • Your disability must be mild!• But you do so well/seem so bright!• You don’t look/seem disabled.These include (Keller & Galgay, 2010, pp ):Denial of identity: occurs when any aspect of a person’s identity other than disability is ignored or denied. This can be further divided into denial of personal identity, and denial of experienceDenial of privacy: occurs when personal information is required about a disabilityHelplessness: occurs when people frantically try to help PWDs.Secondary gain: occurs when a person expects to feel good or be praised for doing something for a PWDSpread effect: occurs when other expectations about a person are assumed to be due to one specific disabilityPatronization: occurs when a PWD is praised for almost anything, or is treated like a child (infantilization)Second-class citizenship: occurs when a PWD’s right to equality is denied because they are considered to be bothersome, expensive, and a waste of time, effort, and resourcesDesexualization: occurs when the sexuality and sexual being is denie
18 Microinvalidations • Everyone has problems. • We all have a learning disability of some kind.• I understand your AD/HD; I have a blind uncle.• I get it: I’m totally OCD about my files!• Whoops, I must be dyslexic! (when reversing letters/numbers)
19 Making it Better Disabled or has a disability Uses a wheelchair Outmoded LanguagePreferred LanguageHandicapped, Crippled, Suffers from...Confined/Restricted to a wheelchair Mentally retarded People without disabilities are “normal” or in the “regular classroom.”Disabled or has a disabilityUses a wheelchairIntellectual and developmental disability (IDD)
20 Other Microaggressions Staring or ignoring PWDs/privacy issuesOffering help without assistanceOmitting disability as a source of pridewhen mentioning diversityFailing to serve or provide role models
22 A Socio-political or Right’s Model Disability is not a moral flaw, a medical condition that needs fixing, or a source of shame.Under the social model, disability is not based upon individual impairment but on society’s failure to enable all people equally.Disability is a different way of being in the world that contributes value.PWDs are individuals whose disabilities don’t “carry over.”The disadvantages of disability should be viewed as a social construct.The Social Model views disability as a consequence of environmental, social and attitudinalbarriers that prevent people with impairments from maximum participation in society. It is best summarized in the definition of disability from the Disabled Peoples’ International:"the loss or limitation of opportunities to take part in the normal life of the community on an equal level with others, due to physical or social barriers."A Socio-Political Viewpoint The socio-political viewpoint about the concept of disability radically shifted thetarget of responsibility for the situations experienced by PWD. According to this perspective, “disability is defined as a social construction in that the limitations and disadvantages experienced by PWD have nothing to do with the disability but are only social constructions and therefore unwarranted” (Smart & Smart, 2006, p. 34). The genesis of its inception could be attributed to the results of the Disability Right Movement and Independent Living Movement (from 1960s to 1970s), which followed the campaigns of other civil rights movements (e.g., the black civil rights movement and the women’s movement)
23 Future IssuesRe-imagining disability as positive Embracing the post-social model Eliminating structural/systemic barriers, including pressures to “cover” Examining interpersonal barriers.
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