Ableism…it’s a word that no one who is disabled or neurodiverse wants to hear. We all want to contribute to something important, but there are those out there who will view us as nothing more than a threat simply because we aren’t just disabled or neurodiverse…but also because they are afraid people like us will be after their job or position.
So, they will come up with an excuse to have someone excluded because of their special gift. Take it for example, you have someone working as a janitor at the headquarters a major corporation. Now this janitor is friendly with the people who work in this corporation, some may even wonder if he should ever work his way up the corporate ladder. He may choose to stay in his current position because he enjoys it and doesn’t want to change his character.
Despite this, someone will cry wolf on him and try to have him removed from the company because he is a threat to their power.
Sadly, we are seeing a lot of this in our society not just in the workforce, but also in education both on the standard school level and at college levels. A majority of neurodiverse and disabled individuals go onto college to pursue their desired degree in whatever major that they are majoring in.
But the college will turn them away because of either they don’t have special services for neurodiverse/disabled individuals or they just don’t seem to care about the person him or herself.
In fact, I can relate from personal experience as I attempted to look into getting into Johnson and Wales University in Providence, RI just before I graduated High School. I had originally wanted to be a travel agent because I am passionate about air travel and have a strong knowledge of airports and airlines. My folks and I did meet with the special education services there and well…we weren’t impressed by them. From the looks of it, they didn’t seem to really give a damn about me. You know what? That’s their loss, not mine!
Eventually, I did take a few college classes at Bristol Community College’s campus in Attleboro, MA, but didn’t get a degree because I was happy with my life as it is.
I have a high school diploma, several academic awards and I give out a yearly scholarship to graduating seniors with IEP’s. Plus, I also have the flexibility to do this blog and share my story about living life on the spectrum.
Still, some of my colleagues in the autism/neurodiversity communities have actually gotten college degrees and gone on to do big things. But no matter whether you have a high school diploma or a college degree or doctorate, you can do big things and make a huge impact on the world.
But this is only an example of the many issues that ableism produces. Our institutions of learning and our major corporations have to understand and realize that neurodiverse and disabled individuals of all backgrounds have the right to follow their dreams. The fact is, ableism will always be out there and it’s up to individuals like me to counter it!
Catch you all later!!