Your browser is not supported. please upgrade to the latest version of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari or Microsoft Edge.

Disabled People Call Out Things Non-Disabled People Don’t Realize Are Offensive

Elyse Wanshel


Ableism, in a nutshell, is discrimination against disabled people. And, yes, it does exist, despite the fact that one in four people in United States has a disability, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Case in point, on Sunday, the hashtag #YouMightBeAbleistIf began to trend on Twitter, sparking tons of responses from the disability community of everyday and casual instances of ableism they’ve experienced.

“I deal with ableism everyday on and off line,” said Tiara Simmons Mercius, 36, a disabled woman who popularized the hashtag over the weekend — after it had been used by Twitter user @soul_into_hades in 2015. “And I noticed that the disabled community spends a lot of time explaining what ableism is. So I thought having a central place where we could give examples would be helpful.”


you call someone “high functioning” as a compliment.

Embedded video


Twitter Ads info and privacy

489 people are talking about this

The reason why Mercius felt it would be useful to propel disabled people’s experiences with ableism into the viral sphere is because the concept is complex and instances of it aren’t always easy to identify. The reason is because ableism is highly normalized thanks to society’s lack of understanding of (or indifference towards) disabled people’s lived experiences.

Calling all HuffPost superfans!

Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter

Join HuffPost

“Ableism is so threaded into our society that it can often go unnoticed or isn’t clear to begin with,” Mercius told HuffPost. “Things that are socially accepted are in fact ableist, from language to beliefs about disabled people.”

One disabled Twitter user told HuffPost that they experienced ableism after they decided to contribute to the #YouMightBeAbleistIf hashtag on Sunday, and their tweet went viral. The user, who asked to not be identified, wrote about their own experiences with abelism. The user quickly received backlash for their tweet and felt they were dismissed because they are disabled.

“The experience just got overwhelming,” they told HuffPost. “And people were taking what I said out of context or not even listening to disabled people about their own experiences.”

Read More


Load older comments...

Loading comments...

Add comment


September 2019

Workplace communication is crucial: Here's how to do it better


September 2019

When Companies Improve Their Diversity, Stock Prices Jump


January 2021

Senate Republicans throw cold water on Biden's immigration proposal


October 2019

Diversity Has Become a Booming Business. So Where Are the Results?


January 2021

Anderson Cooper Left Speechless In Interview With Amanda Gorman

You've Been Timed Out

Please login to continue