Inclusive SA

Challenge your approach. Is it ableist?

Ableism: a belief or set of beliefs and actions that either consciously or unconsciously discriminates against people with disability by devaluing their lives or assuming that having a disability makes a person inherently inferior.

People with disability are not responsible for the limitations imposed on them by outside forces.

Social change is needed to provide equality, inclusion and justice for people with disability.

This is done by removing barriers that come from:

  • the physical environment
  • attitudes
  • law, regulations and policy.

Microsoft says in ‘Designing inclusive software’:

We define disability as a mismatch between the needs of the individual and the service, product or environment offered.


Recognise the impact of barriers for people with disability. These can be physical, attitudinal or systemic. Barriers can stem from the way society is organised or common perceptions and attitudes to disability.

Instead of

Seeing the individual or their disability as responsible for outcomes. For example, focussing on an individual’s attitude in overcoming barriers in society, or medical deficit aspects by emphasising ‘treatments’ and ‘cures’.

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Provided by:
Department of Human Services
Last Updated:
26 Oct 2023
Printed on:
02 Dec 2023
The Inclusive SA website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence. © Copyright 2016