We need to talk about ableism

Ellen Fraser Barbour

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


As a disabled person, there are days I don't want to leave the house.

I wish I could say I don't care what society thinks or assumes about me and my body. But the truth is, when my body is judged, ostracised, othered — I do care. Some days I have to really push myself.

It could be a question from a stranger: "What happened?" Taken aback by my body.

Or the daily comments.

"You're such a special girl."

"If I were you I don't think I'd want to live."

Or, "I don't see your disability."

People think it's helpful to ask why I don't get plastic surgery, "to fix your face".

As if surgery would fix the issue of not belonging.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Specialist publicationABC Opinion
PublisherABC Website
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2020


  • Ableism
  • Disability
  • Disability awareness
  • Disability discrimination
  • chronic illness
  • neurodiversity
  • discrimination on the grounds of disability
  • Australian Human Rights Commission
  • neurodivergent


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