Well, people with disabilities internalize ableism, too. They internalize prejudice and sometimes discriminate against others with disabilities. Also, they sometimes cooperate with people that want to discriminate against them.
In the last few weeks, I have had discussions with:
- Two different EMT's, both of whom are disabled and have service dogs, that believe service dogs should not be allowed in ambulances. One went so far as to say she would refuse to transport a service dog in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Another service dog handler, not an EMT, who also thinks service dogs should not be allowed in ambulances. She informed me I would be risking my life if I insisted on taking my service dog with me in an ambulance and said she thought the paramedics should refuse to transport my dog. Besides risking my life, I would be inconveniencing the paramedics, who would have to disinfect the ambulance after transporting my dog.
- Someone with 12 years of experience working in an emergency room, who is himself disabled with a service dog, who said people should not bring their service dogs to the ER. He said it was just "common sense."
- Another service dog handler who said a group of five friends, all of whom have service dogs, should not have gone to eat in a restaurant together with their service dogs. A group of disabled people with service dogs is too noticeable and might intimidate some people. Plus, that much dog hair would be a health hazard. Later, she said a regular restaurant would be OK but not a buffet, because of the dog hair.
But does it surprise you that these people, who have disabilities and service dogs, hold these beliefs and argue vehemently against the rights of fellow service dog handlers? It surprised me. This is internalized ableism.