AHEAD Bias

Report
What an inspiration!
Exploring Positive
Disability Biases and
Microaggressions
Amanda Kraus, Ph. D.
AHEAD 2013 – Baltimore, MD
Outline
 Overview of disability history and prevalent
frames
 Define and explore ableism and non-disability
privilege
 Explore the negative impact of positive biases
 Identify disability-specific microaggressions
Historical Treatment of
Disabled People
Era
1200 +
1800 +
1930 +
1950 +
1980 +
Today?
Societal Perspective
Possessed by the
devil, sinner
Genetically defective,
inferior
Genetically defective
polluting the race
Treatment
Tortured, burned at the
stake, left to die
Hidden away, freaks,
beggars
Institutionalized,
sterilized, exterminated
Unfortunate, objects
of charity and pity
Independent, selfdetermined
Institutionalized,
rehabilitated
Independent living
centers, civil rights,
mainstreaming
Social justice, Universal
Design, growing attention
to sports, community, arts
Disability as diversity,
access is a right, ADA
Adams, M. Bell, L.A., & Griffin,
P. (Eds.) (1997) Teaching for
Diversity and Social Justice: A
Sourcebook. New York and
London: Routledge.
How is disability framed?
Frame
Core
In practice
Individual
• Locate the problem
within the individual
• Focus on specific
condition/diagnosis
• Do not internalize
disability as an identity
• Cure or fix problem
• Disability is negative
• Individual accommodations
Sociopolitical
• Locate problem in
environment
• Barriers exclude
disabled individuals
and set parameters of
disability experience
• Work to identify and eliminate
barriers
• Disability is neutral
• Appreciation for community
and culture
• Create sustainable change
Ableism and Non-Disability
Privilege
 Ableism is a pervasive system of discrimination and
exclusion that oppresses people who have cognitive,
emotional, and physical [impairments]
 3 characteristics of systems organized around
privilege:
 Dominated by privileged groups
 Identified with privileged groups
 Centered on privileged groups
 How do you benefit from your privilege?
 How do you benefit from your privilege at work?
“Positive” Biases
Negative:
stereotype (N) A widely
held, fixed, oversimplified
image or idea of a particular
type of person or thing
 Disability people are:
 Tragic
 Pitiful
 Scary
bias (N) Prejudice or
tendency in favor or against
one thing, person or group
compared with another,
usually considered to be
unfair
 Angry, Chip on their shoulders
“Positive”:
 Disability people are
 Inspiring
 In need of help or special
attention
Never ever give up!
Murderball Trailer
 “This is a lively, life-affirming
documentary no viewer is likely to
forget.” – Christian Science Monitor
 “Murderball is a paradox: a movie
about quadriplegics that insists we
look beyond their disability.” - Boston
Globe
 “Murderball asks you to put all your
assumptions about quadriplegics
aside and start over.” - Premiere
 “The film is filled with humor,
compassion and cajones, and never
once glosses over the fact that these
guys are prickly personalities who can
sometimes act like jerks. There are also
a few tears, but remarkably, not a
single one is shed in pity.” – TV Guide
Microaggressions
 Subtle, stunning, often automatic, and nonverbal exchanges, “put downs”, dismissive
looks, gestures, tones… So pervasive that they
are often overlooked or dismissed as innocuous.
 Microassaults: Explicit derogations meant to
hurt victim (name calling, avoidance, etc.)
 Microinsults: Words and actions that convey
rudeness, insensitivity, demeaning attitudes
 Microinvalidations: Exclude, negate, dismiss
thoughts, feelings or experiences
Disability themes
 Denial of identity
 Inspiration
 Disability as a
choice
 Access as a
privilege
 Avoidance
 Denial of privacy
 Patronization/Infantilizatio
n
 Spread effect
 Second class
citizen/Burden
 Desexualization
Microaggression
Theme
A blind man
reports that
people often raise
their voices when
speaking to him.
Spread effect
A person with
depression finds it
frustrating when
people tell her it’s
“mind over
matter.”
Denial of
identity/Choice
A person with
scars on his face
and body is
regularly asked
by strangers,
“What happened
to you?”
Denial of privacy
Message/Impact
Microaggression
Theme
A blind student
speaks reminds her
professor to email
her class notes. The
professor responds
with, “Ugh, I keep
forgetting. Can’t
you work with a
classmate?”
Second-class
citizen, burden
A wheelchairuser opens and
pushes through a
door. Someone
says “Wow,
you’re so good
with that thing.”
Patronization/Hel
plessness
Message/Impact
Microaggression
Someone asks a
learning disabled
student if he’s faking his
disability so he can
cheat at the Testing
Center.
When checking in for a
professional
conference, a blind
woman is called “baby
girl” by someone using
a cute, soft tone, unlike
that she has used with
others.
Theme
Denial of
identity/Choice
Infantilization
A disabled professional
Denial of identity
raises a question about
access in a meeting and
his colleague rolls her
eyes.
Message/Impact
Microaggression
Theme
A wheelchair
basketball team is
practicing in a public
gym. Folks gather to
watch and one says,
“You guys are such
inspirations. I don’t
know how you do it.”
Denial of
identity/Spread
In response to ASL
interpreters in the
front of the
classroom, hearing
students comment,
“This is so distracting.
If they don’t
understand the
professor, can’t they
go somewhere
else?”
Second class
citizen/burden/S
pread
Message/Impact
Microaggression
Theme
A wheelchair-user and
his non-disabled wife
are shopping. The
salesperson asks, “You
brought your assistant
with you?”
Helplessness/Desexua
lization
A student with Autism
reports that he is never
asked to work on group
projects and that his
roommate is never
around.
Avoidance
A woman using
Secondary gain
crutches is carrying
something to her car. A
passer-by asks to help
her. She says, “no thank
you.” He says, “Are you
sure? I haven’t done my
good deed for the day!
Message/Impact
Microaggression
Theme
Someone remarks to
a blind man that his
outfits always match
so nicely!
Helplessness
A wheelchair-user is
waiting in line and
someone next to her
tells her that he totally
understands her
because he used a
wheelchair for a few
months several years
ago. He goes on to say
that he worked really
hard and did everything
he could to get out of
that chair.
Denial of identity
Message/Impact
Microaggression
Theme
At a professional
conference a group of
ASL interpreters default
to speaking English when
there are others present
who only sign.
Avoidance/Burd
en
Two DS professionals are
talking about a learning
disabled student’s
request for classroom
accommodations. One
says to the other, “ADD
and ADHD aren’t even
real disabilities. These
students are so entitled.”
Denial of
identity
Message/Impact
A process for action
Recognize
it!
• Admit that disability oppression and microaggressions exist.
• Take notice. Reflect on impact.
Listen!
• Honor the experiences of disabled people. Do not get
defensive. Check your personal biases.
• Honor outrage. Avoid invalidating or demeaning emotions.
Educate
yourself!
• Read books; watch documentaries. Consume media with
critical lens. Attend community events.
• Develop a new method.
Take
action!
• Consider disability oppression your problem to solve.
• Create professional practices and processes that are consistent
with this value. Disrupt practices that are not.
Professional roles and
responsibilities
Where do microaggressive incidents
occur?
How do DS professional participate?
How do disabled people participate?
What are our responsibilities relative to
microaggressions?
References
 Sue, D.W. (Ed.) (2010). Microaggressions and marginality:
Manifestation, dynamics and impact. . Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley &
Sons.
 Sue, D.W. (2010). Microaggressions in everyday life. Hoboken, NJ: John
Wiley & Sons.
 Sue, D.W., and Constantine, M.G. (2007). Racial microaggressions as
instigators of difficult dialogues on race: Implications for student affairs
educators and students. The College Student Affairs Journal. 26(2),
136-143.
 Adams, M. Bell, L.A., & Griffin, P. (Eds.) (1997). Teaching for diversity
and social justice: A sourcebook. New York and London: Routledge.
 Johnson, A.G. (2006). Privilege, power, and difference. Second edition.
McGraw Hill: New York.
Online references
 http://journalism.indiana.edu/resources/ethics/sensitive-newstopics/the-super-crip-stereotype/
 http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/between-thelines/201205/the-dark-side-positive-stereotypes
 http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ulterior-motives/201302/thepain-positive-stereotypes
 http://scienceblogs.com/cognitivedaily/2005/12/16/the-negativeimpact-of-positiv/
 http://thesocietypages.org/colorline/2012/07/24/pew-report-on-asianamericans-a-cautionary-tale/
 http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/2012/04/reasons-positivestereotypes-are-not-positive/
 http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ulterior-motives/201302/thepain-positive-stereotypes

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