How often have we found ourselves uttering phrases like, “Abey andha hai kya?” “Tu pagal hai?” “That’s such a retarded thing to say,”?
Such ‘ableist’ phrases are common and we use them regularly without thinking twice.
Ableism is defined as discrimination and prejudice against people with disabilities or those perceived to be disabled. When misconceptions about mental health make regular rounds on Whatsapp, ableist language, which might seem harmless, ends up perpetuating negative stereotypes about disabilities and further stigmatises any helpful talk around mental illness.
Here’s to doing better and learning to evolve.
Here’s how you can avoid using these words and instead use inclusive language. As one of India’s largest communities of writers, we decided to put together a few resources to help you in the challenges.