Disabled and Objectified

Being the son of a handicapped father can be challenging and awkward at times. Since my father was put into a wheelchair I find myself often acting different in certain situations than I would have before his injury. This interests me to find out if this is normal for many people when interacting with someone who is disabled.

I often find that disabled people are objectified. We treat them as if they are not human anymore and they are some other species. this happens through people interacting with the disabled differently whether it’s being to cautious around them or automatically pitying them. These actions can lower the self-esteem of disabled individuals. We need to treat these people as equals.

Looking under disability: The anthropology of impairment” by Kris Castner is the article that inspired me to blog about this. In her article Castner raves about the work of Joan Ablon who is known in the field as the herald of the anthropology of impairment. “Ablon’s work has helped to expose how the lack of a valued societal characteristic (such as an ability to walk) can result in an individual’s stigmatization and lowered self-esteem.”

To solve an issue like this we must look past the disability and realize that these people are still human. We need to treat them they way we do others so that they do not feel isolated. Being in another country the way we might solve this problem would change depending on the norms within that cultural context.