So I've decided to post a definition of 'Ableism' with slightly different phrasing each time every couple of days. ...Most of the definitions are my own words (or will be). One is from Merriam-Webster Online, and one is from Disability Rhetoric by Jay Timothy Dolmage.
Here are the ones I've got, so far:
1) Ableism is when you discount someone's humanity because they do not have all the 'standard' abilities we're taught to expect.
2) Ableism is when you accept a culturally contrived 'standard' of human ability, and measure the value of a human life against that standard.
3) Ableism renders disability as abject, invisible, disposable, less than human, while able-bodiedness is represented as at once ideal, normal, and the mean or default. [That's Dolmage's)
4) 'Ableism' is the idealization of ability.
It is a bias that credits anyone who has abilities we admire with good moral character, while discrediting the moral character of disabled people.
5) 'Ableism' is a subconscious filter in our perception; it only lets those with a 'full set of abilities' into the category of 'human.' Those with less than a 'full set' are often treated as inconsequential, or even invisible.