Capacitism: discrimination against functional diversity

There is a growing awareness of the different types of discrimination that certain groups and minorities face in their daily lives. For example, racism and masculinity are examples of ways of thinking that result in some people being treated unequally for being who they are.

But there are other concepts that refer to how he is discriminated against today. For example, that of capacitismo, refers to the unequal treatment that receives people with functional diversityOften stigmatized and treated on the basis of prejudice to be considered disabled.

    What is capacity?

    Ableism is that form of ideological and material discrimination that targets people considered to be disabled. That is to say, that the capacitismo talks about to the prejudices and the stereotypes that take to despise the people with functional diversity, but it is also reflected in laws and material structures (architectural, urban, etc.) which constitute a barrier to this collective.

    In other words, this ableism it is both ideological and institutionalBecause it is expressed through thoughts but also through fixed and legitimized conceptions and forms of organization.

    The functional diversity paradigm

    The idea of ​​ableism arose from a new perspective that addresses the way in which socially and politically welcomes people considered to be disabled. This new paradigm is part of the concept of functional diversity, which is used as a substitute for “disability”.

    And what is functional diversity? It is an idea used by avoid stigmatization of people with disabilities. These, instead of being seen as “broken bodies”, incomplete or, ultimately, “wrong bodies”, are seen as representatives of another kind of functionality, neither better nor worse than this. which was considered “normal” (which, from the point of view of functional diversity, is no longer considered as such).

    In this way, the capacistismo indicates like fundamental problem the generalized hypothesis of the idea that the people with functional diversity are a deviation from the normality and that, at the same time, they do not have the same rights as the rest of human beings.

    Capacitism and halo effect

    One of the psychological phenomena that explains how ableism works is the halo effect.

    The halo effect is a tendency to value people based on one of their characteristics and to extend to the whole person the value judgment which has been made on this initial trait.

    This is why, for example, a person who attaches great importance to stereotypes related to politics may come to carefully evaluate a behavior in a person dressed in a certain way (for example, with dreadlocks) and to positively value this same behavior in another individual. dressed differently.

    The halo effect hijacks our ability to reasonably and comprehensively assess the different nuances and characteristics of a person, And just makes us broaden our opinion on a particular feature that caught our attention. Additionally, there are indications that the halo effect could be present in most humans.

    In this way, people with functional diversity are labeled for their biological characteristics and their perspective is minimized or seen as an emanation of their disability status. Ableism is partly reflected in the classification: whatever is done, it will be interpreted as a direct consequence of the disability, which makes you see less of the humanity of these people. And that, of course, has a very negative effect on the self-esteem of many.

      How to create a more inclusive society

      To curb ableism, mental health professionals in all fields (including clinical psychology) stress the need to not attributing all the problems of a disabled person to their individualityAs if it was a painful experience that must be carried in silence. Alternatively, a bio-psycho-social approach is proposed which takes into account the importance of the context.

      For example, quadriplegia is not as much of a problem if society adapts to it by creating wheelchair access and avoid architectural barriers. Sometimes the concept of disability can be used as an excuse to address private and individual issues that need to be addressed collectively.

      Thus, the care of people with disabilities does not only consist of treatments centered on the individual, but also of social education and networking so that the context also adapts to the individual, and not only to the individual. . Eliminate capacity it implies a change of consciousness and also a coordinated action of several people who intend to change institutions in public and in private.

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