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Token Cripple

April 20, 2019

“You’re so lucky you have other stuff going for you.” In other words, you’re so lucky because I don’t see you as just disabled. Not too long ago, hearing this would have filled me with pride. It would have confirmed that, yes, I’ve finally achieved my goal of making my disability invisible and irrelevant by ignoring […]

April 9, 2019

Before leaving home to begin my first year as any Arts and Law student would—at Weir House—I was shit scared. It didn’t help that everyone kept telling me that everyone was in “the same boat”. Because, as I saw it, unless everyone else’s boat had holes in the sail, sharks circling with a particular thirst […]

March 11, 2019

When respectful, politically correct adults ask what the title of this column is, I have begun to expect the same reaction: raised eyebrows, followed by an uncomfortable “oh!” This reaction had me doubting myself—was the use of the word “cripple” really just too shocking and off-putting to have as the title of a column which […]

February 25, 2019

I was nine years old when I made my best friend promise she would never treat me differently, even if I was one day in a wheelchair. I was 13 years old when a mother at school camp told me that I shouldn’t have bothered to attempt a physical activity—though I had been unable to […]

October 16, 2017

While I was interested in the return of the Special Votes I was disappointed by the result. And while openly left wing and a Green Party member, my disappointment was not so much partisan as it was to do with being disabled. The final vote count saw Mojo Mathers lose her seat in Parliament. Mojo […]

September 18, 2017

I have written before about the representation of disability on screen and stage. Often the question that arises for me is: who are these stories for? Often the stories we tell about disability are aimed at people who do not live with disability. British actor and comedian Francesca Martinez speaks about this brilliantly. She was […]

August 7, 2017

With an election on the horizon I’ve been pondering how to vote as a disabled person. For me, my vote, and in some sense my political voice, are very much informed by this  experience. Access to democracy is a difficult thing; it requires people to have access not only to the ballot box but also […]

July 24, 2017

End of Life Bill The right to die has recently been introduced by David Seymour’s proposed End of Life Bill. The issue of assisted dying has long been a contentious one for the disability community. I have heard compelling arguments from disabled people on both sides. For all these people and their non-disabled counterparts, the […]

June 6, 2017

Negotiations between E tū Union and the government have brought about a significant change for workers in the care sector. Effective from July 1, care and support staff will receive a pay increase of $3–7 per hour. This is huge in acknowledging the importance of an historically unvalued profession, work which, to people like me, […]