As my and our collective understanding of ableism is ever-evolving, I hope to offer periodic edits to the working definition of ableism I released in 2019. You can review the 2021 updated definition here.
The updated version is edited for length and clarity. It also names colonialism as central to the construction, conception and application of ableism, and also more explicitly acknowledges reproductive in/justice and productivity. Finally, the image explicitly names Dustin Gibson and Black and other negatively racialized Disabled people as having been central to my understanding of ableism and development of this working definition.
Study and discussion of imperialism and its relationship to ableism is ongoing. . .
Image Description: Brown square with the following words in white and yellow: ABLEISM a·ble·ism \ ˈābə-ˌli-zəm \ noun A system that places value on people’s bodies and minds based on societally constructed ideas of normalcy, intelligence, excellence and productivity. These constructed ideas are deeply rooted in anti-Blackness, eugenics, colonialism and capitalism. This form of systemic oppression leads to people and society determining who is valuable and worthy based on a person’s appearance and/or their ability to satisfactorily [re]produce, excel and "behave." You do not have to be disabled to experience ableism. a working definition by Talila "TL" Lewis in conversation with Disabled Black and other negatively racialized folk, especially Dustin Gibson; updated January 2020
I dream incessantly of justice. Hoping to calm my mind & stir yours through this freedom space.