The ISMs Project

Society's Portrayal of Ableism

  • Rei McCormick (Iowa State University)
  • Brenda Lora (Iowa State University)
  • Ricardo Herrera (Iowa State University)


In the real world, there are different kinds of people with different abilities; often, those with (dis)abilities are deemed as abnormal and lesser than. Rei McCormick, Brenda Lora, and Ricardo Herrera initiated a research study to discover how ableism is portrayed in society. Our research focuses on how Ableism became normalized in society and how throughout history it has changed and molded to discriminate against various groups of people. We wanted to see what ideas and events led to how society portrays Ableism today in order to deconstruct society’s perspective and create a safer environment for all. We found that with the rise of the Industrial Revolution and capitalist ideals, a person’s value became tied to your physical and mental abilities. To combat this, we need to embrace social innovation and change society’s perspective to be more accepting of those living with disabilities.



Published on
05 Mar 2021
Society's Portrayal of Ableism