Ableism is the discrimination or prejudice against people who have disabilities. Ableism can take the form of ideas and assumptions, stereotypes, attitudes and practices, physical barriers in the environment, or larger scale oppression. It is oftentimes unintentional and most people are completely unaware of the impact of their words or actions.
The thought that people with disabilities are dependent and require the care and support of someone else is an example of ableism. Sometimes this comes out in the form of people helping people with disabilities without asking them if they need assistance (and of course waiting the affirmative response).

Another example would be in designing spaces, places, events, information, communication, and technology without considering the variety of needs of people with disabilities. For example, a building that is built to code can still be technically inaccessible if the ramp is around the back of the building or if there is no automatic door opener installed.
by PDXTrippin January 22, 2015
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Ableism is a form of discrimination toward people with disabilities either physical or mental. Generally, ableism prevents disabled persons from having the same access to rights and services that average people have no problems obtaining.
Disabled visitor at hotel: "I'd like to rent out a room?" Receptionist: "Sorry, all rooms are currently taken." Average visitor at hotel AFTER disabled person leaves: "Hey, I'm interested in renting a room?" Receptionist: "Sure, that'll be $500." Average person: "Here you go." Receptionist: "Here's the key, enjoy your visit. It's room 112A."

This is Ableism.
by Daniel Rios August 5, 2009
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