Disabled Women: Support for Women with Disabilities

While the fight for Feminism carries on, it is important to keep in mind that female disability is still a strong issue that needs to be addressed more often in order to make a noticeable difference. Women with disabilities face discrimination in the form of gender as well as physical or mental condition. It is hard enough to live with a disability, but even more so if you are a disabled girl. There are various laws in the US which strive to provide equal opportunities to disabled women. Exploring the resources and information given in some of these organizations would help women with disabilities get a better understanding of their opportunities and rights.

Female Disability Discrimination

While disability discrimination is a common issue faced by many individuals, this discrimination is two-fold while dealing with women with disabilities. As a child, a disabled girl faces extreme societal rejection from other regular kids. A disabled girl generally grows up with the fear of being taunted and ridiculed for suffering from a particular disability. Disabled women on the other hand, face female disability discrimination at the workplace and during employment. Many countries look down upon disabled women and doubt their mothering skills. Sometimes they even go as far as blaming the disabled mother as the cause for a child born with birth defects. They are often times left with no respect and society disregards them as being at an equal level with other women. While disabled men too lose their “manhood” while dealing with their disability, they are still considered the head of the family and are given a higher preference in the workplace. Disabled women, on the other hand, find it harder to find jobs with their condition and often lose their self-esteem due to this prevalent bias. Much improvement is required to fight for equal opportunities for women with disabilities.

Support Organizations For Disabled Ladies

1. F.R.I.D.A. – Feminist Response in Disability Activism (1), is a Chicago based organization that was set up originally by five women to protect the rights of disabled women within their community. Within a year, F.R.I.D.A. gained immense popularity and quickly spread to many different states. It now impacts and benefits several women with disabilities and provides valuable information to all those suffering from discrimination based on their gender. As stated on their website, this female disability organization follows numerous goals. F.R.I.D.A.

  • Is led by and for women with disabilitie
  • Responds to issues affecting women with disabilities
  • Is radicalized women, representing ourselves
  • Raises awareness about the issues that affect us
  • Provides a safe space for women with disabilities and those who identify as a woman with a disability, regardless of sexuality

2. 4DWM – For Disabled Women (2), is a website dedicated to disabled women suffering from physical or speech impairments. It is a project of Women Pushing Forward and Policy Research on Women and Disability (PROWD), and it funded entirely by a grant for Verizon network. It covers all areas of legal, education, assistive technologies and health that would benefit disabled ladies to become aware of the opportunities available to them.

3. DWOW – Disabled Women on the Web (3), is a web-based organization that was founded by Corbett O’Toole who is a part of the Disabled. It was set up to introduce a place where disabled women could discuss their difficulties and share their experiences and solutions to problems. The purpose is to bring together various women with disabilities and provide a platform to accumulate resources and information to support these women with special needs.

Female disability is equally prevalent, but somehow, disabled women seem to face a higher degree of discrimination and difficulties in dealing with their conditions. Being a disabled woman is a challenging task in this world. Many other women with disabilities have recognized this and have set up various groups and websites to bring together disabled ladies from around the world to share their stories and problems. They also provide support in medical, health, products and other areas which have proven to be extremely beneficial. Disabled women would gain immensely from visiting and joining such forums in order to be well-informed of what the world is trying to do to help them out.

References:

  1. Feminist Response In Disability Activism
  2. 4DWM – For Disabled Women
  3. Disabled Women on the Web

1 Comment

  1. I will soon be teaching a free belly dance class for ladies in wheelchairs at an assistant living facility.

    These ladies will need veils, costume tops, and finger cymbals.

    Can anyone help with donations for these items?

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