How to become ally of youth with disabilities

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For Allies

Ways you can be an ally for kids and youth with disabilities

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Challenge

the assumption that kids and youth with disabilities lead less fulfilling lives.

Understand

that disability is part of life and should not be viewed as inherently tragic or inspirational.

Listen and learn

from the experiences of kids and youth with disabilities.

Consider

the person first, before their disability. Disability is just one part of a person’s identity.

Teach

those around you that difference is valuable and part of being human.

Actively

invite kids and youth with disabilities to join your social and community activities.

Share

the message that kids and youth with disabilities belong in your community, classroom, and workplace.

Stop

using negative and ‘ableist’ language, like “confined to a wheelchair” or “suffers from a disability” that implies having a disability is bad. Instead use, “uses a wheelchair” or “has a disability.”

Respect

how each individual chooses to describe themselves and their disability. For example, some people use “autistic person,” while others use “person with autism.”

Celebrate

differences!

Take accountability

to prioritize and support diversity in your life and take action when you witness stigma and exclusion.

Self-reflect

about your own views about disability and acknowledge your own biases and exclusionary actions.

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