People with disabilities experience ableism on a daily basis. It is present in our schools, our workplaces, our homes, our relationships. It impacts every aspect of a disabled person’s life and in turn impacts disabled people’s mental health. Despite this reality, we see that the mental health needs of people with disabilities remain invisible.
To respond to this glaring gap, we created a one-of-a-kind self learning manual: Holding Space – Deconstructing disability experiences and navigating ableism in therapeutic conversations – Part 1.
This manual is the first of a series that we will be working on to expand the understanding of mental health practitioners on disability experiences and ableism’s demands on disabled people’s lives, and its effects on their mental health. We hope through this manual to highlight the need for mental health professionals to specifically learn about this and bring these learnings and ‘unlearnings’ into their mental health practice supporting disabled people.
This manual has the intention of making the effects of ableism on people’s lives more visible. It is aimed at making us more aware of ableism in our lives, in society and in the lives of people around us.
The exercises, activities and worksheets in this manual are designed for self-learning, they can also be used in workshops and trainings as a guide to build disability related sensibilities of counsellors and therapists for the future. This manual is rich with the work and wisdom of people with disabilities from India and the world.
The manual is available for download here.
[Note for screen reader users: This manual is best read on a pdf reading software after downloading it.]