TEDx Talks. (2019). Confronting Ableism | Brendan Campbell

We often see disabled people in our institutions and organizations. Even though the disabled constitute a crucial part of society, disability remains a sensitive topic in modern society. For instance, some cultures consider disability a curse, while others perceive it as a medical condition. Yet, the disabled are people like everyone else, with only a slight difference in their ability. They have their rights and contribute a lot economically. It is also illegal and unethical to discriminate against disabled people. Many people disregard the consequences of ableism, but these are clear. In recent years, social work has transitioned towards empowerment, strengths, and resilience perspectives. It started by concerning itself with the increase in the social, economic, and political influence of the oppressed groups compared to the privileged sections.

This reflective paper will address the issue of ableism as discussed by Brendan Campbell (TEDx Talks, 2019). Ableism is a form of discrimination that significantly affects the disabled and the entire society. Still, the disabled must consider themselves as able and competent. Changing their mentality could be a key to better access their privileges. The inadequate implementation of human rights for disabled people remains a significant barrier today. As a result, they encounter employment barriers, discrimination and stigma, lack of accommodation, and denial of training and education. For many years, social workers have been assisting disabled people in comprehending their diagnosis, making lifestyle adjustments while trying to accommodate their disability, and finding employment and other services. I find the positive outcomes associated with institutions that seek to give disabled people autonomy the most interesting.

In agreement with my perspective, the documentary clarifies the unfavorable outcomes associated with ableism and why disabled people should focus on what they can to achieve their dreams. The disabled have a responsibility to consider themselves as competent and ‘merely different’ from the abled. At the same time, the government must create a conducive national environment that facilitates activities designed to aid the disabled and help social workers execute their duties efficiently. Education is needed to improve awareness against ableism. Brendan Campbell notes how the institution he joined after battling multiple medical diseases helped him become someone better. Thus, institutions must have the mechanisms and staff to support the disabled.

In conclusion, the video clearly outlines the outcomes of ableism as a form of discrimination, how seeing the disabled as unproductive is detrimental to them and why the disabled have a responsibility to better their lives. It has taught me the essence of standing firm amid all negativity, especially for the disabled, and applying the ‘mere difference’ view, which considers everyone equal. There is an insignificant difference between the disabled and those who are not. It is a notion that means a lot today as the world strives to promote diversity and inclusion in all aspects.


TEDx Talks. (2019). Confronting Ableism | Brendan Campbell | TEDxYale [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkSuqtnsyCE