#OTalk 18th August 2020: Occupational Therapy and Ableism

This weeks host is Susan Griffiths @Susangriffiths5, and here is what she has to say about this weeks topic:

Occupational Therapy and Ableism

The COVID-19 pandemic have had and is still continuing to have a significant impact on our lives, but none more so than the disabled population. The government have provided advice and guidelines which seems to apply equally to everyone, but which actually puts disabled people at an unfair disadvantage compared with the non-disabled people.

As a result, millions of disabled people are more isolated and they have found it much harder to access and do the same things that the non-disabled people have been able to do. This is not a new problem as we have always lived in a society that is set up for and run by non-disabled people. What the COVID-19 pandemic have really emphasised is how ableist our society is. 

This has got me thinking about our roles as an OT and whether or not it is based on ableist practice. With this in mind I would like you to invite you to join me in an open and honest discussion where we can reflect on our practice, identify when and where there may be ableism, what does this look like, and what can we do to change this. 

Questions to consider in the chat:

  1. What is your understanding of the term ‘ableism’?
  2. What does ableism look like? 
  3. Reflecting on your role as an OT, the way you practice, and your workplace, are there any ableism that you may now recognise? What are they?
  4. What can we do as OT to identify and change any ableist practice?

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