August 29, 2023
What is Intersectionality?
Intersectionality is explained as different aspects of a person’s identity; gender, race, class, disability or sexuality, that can expose someone to overlapping or intersecting forms of discrimination and marginalisation. The term intersectionality was coined by Kimberly Crenshaw to describe multiple forms of discrimination that one person can experience at the same time.
Intersectionality is a term that explains how many forms of disadvantage or inequality can sometimes compound themselves and create barriers that are not always understood by conventional methods of thinking. Supporting a person with a disability who experiences multiple discrimination and marginalisation requires a holistic approach that recognises the unique and lifelong discrimination they encounter every day.
As professionals working with people with disabilities, we cannot provide services for one area of discrimination without understanding how it informs other areas of a person’s identity. We must understand the complexities of social systems and multiple forms of oppression that might and can be active at the same time in a person’s life. It is our duty to understand potential roadblocks to an individual or groups, well-being.