The Stigma Quiz was developed to help gauge whether they have stigmatizing thoughts about people with disabilities. This five-minute quiz gave people immediate feedback and the correct answers.
1.) Disabled people are courageous and brave for getting up every day and facing their challenges and struggles.
Congrats, you’re right! It’s FALSE: People with disabilities are often portrayed as superhuman or courageous as they triumph over adversity in their daily life. The only flaw in this is that a disabled person doesn’t consider brushing their teeth, eating, or daily living as an act of heroism, so why would you? Be real and let somebody getting up just be getting up, and not Superman triumphing over evil.
2.) Employees with disabilities have higher absentee rates.
Congrats, you’re right! It’s FALSE: Research performed by firms such as DuPont found that, on average, employees with disabilities have better attendance rates than employees without disabilities.
3.) It’s unlikely you will ever meet a person who has a mental illness.
Congrats, you’re right! It’s FALSE: Mental illnesses do not discriminate and are surprisingly common. They affect almost every family in America. They can affect anyone— men, women and children regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, and socio-economic status. According to a 2013 fact sheet published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, “published studies report that about 25% of all U.S. adults have a mental illness and nearly 50% of U.S. adults will develop at least one mental illness during their lifetime.” That’s 1 in 2 people!
4.) Typically, a person with a mental illness has a lower level of intelligence.
Congrats, you’re right! It’s FALSE: Intelligence has nothing to do with mental illnesses or brain disorders. On one hand, many people with mental disorders are brilliant, creative, productive people. On the other hand, some people with mental disorders do not exhibit these qualities. Overall, the level of intelligence among people with mental illness parallels the patterns seen in any population.
5.) We should be inspired and motivated by seeing disabled people accomplishing goals such as playing sports, working, living alone, etc.
Congrats, you’re right! It’s FALSE: People who have disabilities are people just like you and me. If you’ve found yourself impressed by a disabled person doing their grocery shopping alone and they’ve thanked you when you told them how inspired you are, don’t fool yourself. They’re just being polite! Let’s face it, labeling disabled people as inspirational may seem a nice gesture but unfortunately only serves to make the person without the disability feel good about themselves. Don’t be surprised someday if someone just trying to get their chores done tells you that too!
6.) Statistics show that employees with disabilities tend to outperform people without disabilities.
Congrats, you’re right! It’s TRUE: A recent report released by the U.S. Department of Labor, found that people with disabilities meet or EXCEED the job performance of their co-workers without disabilities.
7.) Instead of using the term “handicapped person,” a correct description is “disabled person.”
Congrats, you’re right! It’s TRUE: Many people now use identity-first language and would say “disabled person”. Using this language accepts the person’s disability as part of their identity just like you would describe someone as a good person or a kind person rather than a person with goodness or a person with kindness. Many people also find person-first language correct and would say “a person with a disability” or “someone who has a disability” which emphasizes the person. Throughout this quiz and this website you will see that we have used both person-first and identity-first language to acknowledge people’s different preferences. However, you’ll never see us use “handicapped” or “crazy” anywhere but in a false answer!
8.) Children who point to someone with a disability in public and ask personal questions will really hurt and offend that person.
Congrats, you’re right! It’s FALSE: There is no reason to think that, which means it’s something you’re more worried about than the disabled person. It’s a good idea to actually encourage children to ask and interact with a person about their disability. Stigma is created when children are taught to avoid or fear people with disabilities at a young age. Children who are given the opportunity to interact with a disabled person will quickly learn that we share many similarities and at the same time, there is nothing wrong with being different.
9.) The words “retard” or “retarded” should NEVER be used in any situation even if referring to a situation or object.
Congrats, you’re right! It’s TRUE: These words are extremely derogatory and for many people including people with intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities and mental illnesses, these words are really offensive no matter how they’re used. Words that offend and stigmatize people are not jokes and are not fun so why use them even when you’re fooling around with your friends?
10.) Statistics show that people with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, are more likely to commit violent crimes.
Congrats, you’re right! It’s FALSE: Very little violence in society is caused by people who are mentally ill. Unfortunately, people with mental illness often are portrayed as villains rather than victims in movies and television. The truth is that people with mental illness are no more violent than anyone else, and are actually more likely to be victims of violence than they are to commit violent crimes themselves.
11.) The proper terminology for a person confined to a wheelchair is a person who is “wheelchair-bound.”
Congrats, you’re right! It’s FALSE: This is a trick question, too. People are not confined or bound to their wheelchairs. Doesn’t that give you an image of someone being locked in and tied down? This is why even words themselves can lead to stigma. Really, a disabled person who uses a wheelchair is simply that, a person who uses a wheelchair to get around. If you’re still not sure about this, think about it the next time you are “confined” to your car!
12.) Laws like the ADA are effective in stopping stigma.
Congrats, you’re right! It’s FALSE: The ADA and other laws and policies like it can do many things including making things accessible and reducing discrimination. But, policies and laws alone don’t change people’s attitudes. To do that we need you.
Here’s what you can do, starting with how you act and speak. You can create an environment that builds on people’s strengths and promotes understanding.