Preventing Ableism at UW Bothell

Preventing Ableism at UW Bothell

Published: February 06, 2015

On Thursday January 30th, students squeezed into the IDEA Project in UW Bothell’s UW1 to take part in the Dine and Dialogue on ableism. With their lunch in hand, these students engaged in discussion about ableism with people of all different backgrounds and experiences.

“Ableism is a system that only benefits abled bodied and neuro-typical people,” says Alejandra Perez, who is a Social Justice Organizer on campus at UW Bothell. “We want people to know that ableism exists in this world. Those who have able-bodied privileges need to be cautious about the action and language that are used within their everyday setting. In doing this, we can prevent ourselves from becoming ablest.”

UW Bothell is committed to providing access, equal opportunity, and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. How can the campus community help? Perez says prevention of ableism is all about the awareness of others. She says simple steps to fighting ableism include: leaving disabled parking, elevator and accessible restroom stalls available to those who need them.

“I don’t think we can ever fully prevent ableism because people will always bring in their own perceptions and judgments,” says Rosa Lundborg, UW Bothell Manager of the Office of Special Services and Disability Support. “However, I do believe that UW Bothell consistently puts effort into engaging in processes that try and change those perceptions.”

About Dine and Dialogue: Have you ever wondered about the beliefs and values of others? What truly defines a person's identity? The purpose of the Dine and Dialogue series is to provide a safe space for discussion about topics regarding the intersections of identity to happen. To find out about upcoming events go to the Dine and Dialogue web page.

Image of an able and disable person on a scale