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Token Cripple

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, […]

May 22, 2017

I am fourteen or so lying on a table for an x-ray. This is a familiar prone position, I lie and look up at the machine and breathe out, wait for the gentle click, the light that makes me feel like I am being photocopied. I notice the body of the machine has been decorated […]

May 8, 2017

I am generally wary of giving language too much power to define ourselves. Intersectional thinking is urgently needed for people to claim space. I shy away from the way it seems to have been adopted in popular use, turning every complex person into a list of nouns: Pākehā-cis-lesbian-crip-degree carrying-intersectional feminist. A list, rather than a […]

April 10, 2017

Education is an inherently ableist environment. This is a new thought, something I am only learning now in my own life, going on six years in the tertiary education system and many more as a young student. I have been lucky to find education and academic achievement to be by and large a safe place; […]

March 27, 2017

Thanks to a friend of mine I now have a business card. I keep a handful of them in the pocket of a green tweed jacket and it makes me feel a bit smug knowing they are there. It also helps me take on the world. They inform people that I am an ordinary human […]

March 13, 2017

Crip 101 Last year staffing cuts at the University of Waikato included the dismissal of senior staff in the Disability and Inclusion Studies Programme, which focuses on research into our inclusion in the education system. The reasons cited were predictable — low student numbers (read: money). Disability is neither lucrative nor pretty.  But cuts to […]

September 25, 2016

Having a disability has meant that since before I was born it has been the place of others to label, define, and interact with it. This has come mostly from the necessity of defining it for others. Labeling my body as disabled has made it recognizable to professionals so that I can get the support […]