The ADA Won’t Stop Ableism, It’s up to All of Us
20-minute Trend Talk
Day 4Session Code: TT-6B
When: March 11, 2021
Track: Social Responsibility
Presenter: Nora Genster, Workplace Initiative by Understood
Prerequisite: Participants should understand the multiple models of disability and disability justice.
A proactively inclusive workplace centers the lived experience of its employees, without the expectation of “probono consulting” from employees of minority groups. In this environment, all employees are empowered to be advocates and disabled employees have the freedom to direct their energy toward dismantling internalized ableism.
Through the powerful vehicle of storytelling, Nora, a lifelong disabled subject matter expert, demonstrates how a workplace that is proactively inclusive of disability and learning and thinking differences plays an integral role in combating the many manifestations of ableism: internalized, interpersonal and structural.
This talk calls us to “surmount the temptations individuals may have to ‘free ride’…” (Mayer, 2014), emphasizing that we cannot rely exclusively on our disabled colleagues and peers to do the work for us. We all must do the difficult work to examine and shift our ableist beliefs, beginning in the workplace.
• Understand that we must reject the medical model of disability in favor of disability justice
• Examine how ableism thrives on the tacit approval of complacency; and workplaces must be actively ANTI-ableist
• Learn how ableism corrupts the manner in which every person values themselves and others