Academic Ableism

by VanessaVaile

Cane Adventures

In an article titled, Extremist and Disability Chic, academics Kauffman & Badar state: “we do not want disability to be seen as merely another form of good or acceptable diversity”. They argue that disability is inherently ‘bad’, a curse rather than a gift, something to be prevented, cured, segregated and institutionalised.

According to Kauffman & Badar, because I think that my disability is ‘good’, and as it isn’t something I actively seek to ‘cure’, I’m an extremist. Apparently, by celebrating my disability, and claiming that having a disability isn’t a bad thing, I’m advocating a dangerous ‘chic’ fad reminiscent of historic genocide or systematic violent oppression.

Now, unlike Kauffman and Bader, I wouldn’t dictate to anyone how to feel about their disability. I have openly discussed my own problematic process of embracing my visual impairment. I was so deeply in denial that I had sight loss that I completely…

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