Social institutions are designed to serve the broad needs of society, but certain individuals benefit more than others. Institutions including the government, healthcare, and education often neglecting the needs of minoritized groups. Using an intersectional lens, we can understand how systems of privilege and oppression function in society to affect the life chances of individuals and groups.
People with disabilities encounter challenges in a society that favours able-bodied and neurotypical ideals. For a country that institutionalized its citizens with cognitive and developmental disabilities until 2009, it is no surprise that systemic ableism, or oppression against people with disabilities, remains prevalent. Physical, environmental, and communication barriers prevent people with disabilities from accessing services, while pre-existing attitudes hinder support and prosperity. For instance, people with disabilities are less likely to pursue post-secondary education than able-bodied people, and lack of accessibility and understanding can render an exclusive, dangerous environment for students. When disability is accompanied by marginalization along lines of race, gender, or class, people face compounding barriers in navigating social institutions. For example, Black and Indigenous women with disabilities utilize institutions with multiple interconnecting identities. Because of this, they can be discriminated against on the basis of their race, gender, and ability at the same time.
: individual or institutional discrimination against people with disabilities
: any condition that hinders an individual’s ability to fully and equally participate in society
: a way to describe people who are not limited by physical impairments
: a way to describe people whose cognition, intellect, or behaviour is considered “normal”
: a way to describe people who differ from what is considered “normal” neurological, intellectual, or mental functioning
- See Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/monitor/freeing-our-people-updates-long-road-deinstitutionalization ↵
individual or institutional discrimination against people with disabilities
any condition that hinders an individual’s ability to fully and equally participate in society
way to describe people who are not limited by physical impairments
a way to describe people whose cognition, intellect, or behaviour is considered normal
a way to describe people who differ from what is considered normal neurological, intellectual, or mental functioning