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Article

Ableism and Contours of the Attitudinal Environment as Identified by Adults with Long-Term Physical Disabilities: A Qualitative Study

1
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48108, USA
2
Department of Family Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, USA
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Civil Rights, Inclusion and Opportunity Department, Detroit, MI 48226, USA
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The Disability Network, Flint, MI 48507, USA
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Department of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Michigan, Flint, MI 48502, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(12), 7469; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127469
Received: 22 March 2022 / Revised: 9 June 2022 / Accepted: 15 June 2022 / Published: 18 June 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Disabilities)
Adults with physical disabilities experience a continuum of enabling and disabling attitudes in the environment. This study identified where adults with physical disabilities experience the attitudinal environment, the continuum of those attitudes, and how they impact emotional and psychological health and well-being. Focus groups and interviews were conducted in 2019 and 2020 with adults with physical disabilities in southeastern Michigan in the United States. Participants discussed environmental factors that impact healthy aging. From an initial thematic coding of narratives, the attitudinal environment was identified. Transcripts were recoded and analyzed focusing on societal attitudes. Qualitative analyses revealed that participants did not experience societal attitudes as simply positive or negative, and that the contexts in which these attitudes were expressed were not limited to interpersonal interactions. Rather, these attitudes were also experienced in the built environment and through social institutions and organizations and their programs, systems, and structures that provide or deny needed accommodations, resources, and support. The spectrum of overlapping attitudes that participants articulated ranged from understanding and supportive, to not understanding, to being viewed and treated as less than human. Societal structures reflect and influence societal attitudes and have material consequences on the lives of adults with physical disabilities. View Full-Text
Keywords: International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health; attitudinal environment; structural ableism; QOL; stigma; discrimination; physical disability International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health; attitudinal environment; structural ableism; QOL; stigma; discrimination; physical disability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Reber, L.; Kreschmer, J.M.; James, T.G.; Junior, J.D.; DeShong, G.L.; Parker, S.; Meade, M.A. Ableism and Contours of the Attitudinal Environment as Identified by Adults with Long-Term Physical Disabilities: A Qualitative Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 7469. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127469

AMA Style

Reber L, Kreschmer JM, James TG, Junior JD, DeShong GL, Parker S, Meade MA. Ableism and Contours of the Attitudinal Environment as Identified by Adults with Long-Term Physical Disabilities: A Qualitative Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(12):7469. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127469

Chicago/Turabian Style

Reber, Lisa, Jodi M. Kreschmer, Tyler G. James, Jaime D. Junior, Gina L. DeShong, Shan Parker, and Michelle A. Meade. 2022. "Ableism and Contours of the Attitudinal Environment as Identified by Adults with Long-Term Physical Disabilities: A Qualitative Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 12: 7469. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127469

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