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The Top Ten Stereotypes of Disabled People

1. Inspirations - Indomitable disabled person, aka "Super Cripple" overcomes every challenge, "doesn't think of self as disabled" never asks for help, declines accommodation of any kind, climbs Mt. Everest in a wheelchair with cheery smile

2. Deviant, Sinister and Evil - naturally crooked, operate outside normal rules of nature and society, must be contained controlled or destroyed

3. Victims - vulnerable, weak, tragic object of violence and abuse

4. Exotic Freaks - generate feelings of horror, aversion, fear of difference, embarrassment

5. Clowns - comic relief, laughable appearance, funny voices, the butt of jokes, dumb and dumber, court jesters, fools

6. Pitiful and Sweet - pathetic, innocent, grateful for crumbs, sometimes speak gentle words of extraordinary wisdom (especially if intellectually impaired) need to be looked after, in film and fiction often finds miracle cure

7. Twisted and Bitter- chip on shoulder, whining, acrimonious, angry and difficult, taking out inner hurt and rage on the world, okay to ignore their concerns, pointless trying communicate with them

8. Burden and Outcast - costly, non-contributing burdens on society, canít and donít "fit in" anywhere except amongst others of same kind - should be segregated, institutionalized, provided with the bare minimum or euthanized (better off dead anyway), preferably prevented from reproducing.

9. Non sexual - can never be in a relationship (unless partner is pervert or martyr)

10. Incapable of full participation in everyday life - nothing to do with how society is built or organized, just canít learn, earn, play, socialize, shop, travel, go to a nightclub or use the phone (cause for unlimited astonishment if can do any of above)

(The "Top Ten" are drawn from many sources and common experience but we would like to particularly acknowledge Richard Reiserís work in the UK).

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