The Body Is Not The Only Aspect That Can Be Abled

16Nov09

Update: Going over the comments and other suggestions, I’m finding that Currently Abled (CA) is so far the best one out of all (including better than CAB/M/S). Further comments should discuss CA as I’m no longer in favor of CAB/M or CAB/M/S over just CA.

There’s something that twigs me out a bit about the abbreviation TAB. But first, for those not in the know, let’s go over what it means.

It means Temporarily Able Bodied. It summarizes fairly well the counter situation to many PWD (Person/People With Disabilities). It stands for the group who are, temporarily, in a position of elevation over PWD folk socially (either through visible elevation or through simply not having to deal with what PWD with invisible disabilities have to deal with in attempting to avoid the bs from society). It also describes folk who don’t possess disabilities, in the simple sense, a classification tool used for discourse and community in the same way that PWD does.

It also explains the temporal nature of not possessing disabilities. It just takes an accident, a hidden genetic condition, even the steady movement of aging and really many other things to cause disabilities to accumulate for a person, removing TAB status and forcing one into the constructed list of bodies that are considered “wrong” or “broken”. Temporarily makes it clear that no, you may not be spared for very long, folk (ironically, even though it’s the marginalization that’s the easiest to get smacked with due to the temporal nature of being abled, it’s also one of the most frequently erased and ignored.)

But there is a flaw. A serious, even ableist flaw in the terminology. And that is what twigs me out.

Have you noticed it yet? Temporarily Abled Bodied. You might say, “well, I’m confused. I mean they are able bodied aren’t they? So they aren’t PWD, right?” But you see, the body is not the only aspect that can be temporarily abled. One who is PWD is simply so due to any kind of disability, mental or physical. So those who are entirely not PWD would be inherently abled body wise. But they would also be abled mind wise. Bodily disabilities are not the only disabilities out there. The mind is another area that can be subject to disability and the ableism that folks with mental disabilities; disorders, mental illness, brain injuries, neurological difference, atypical thought patterns and functionality and a host of other things face. This ableism shows itself in words like “idiot”, “crazy”, “insane”, “retarded” and the host of insults built around the autism spectrum and its cousins. This ableism shows itself in the erasure of the thoughts, hopes, mindsets, viewpoints and ideas of those with disabilities connected to the mind. It shows itself in the usage of disorder terminology by folk who don’t possess these disorders as a joke. “Haha I’m so ADD!” or “Oh geez, sorry, I’m so OCD.” or “Man that game was completely schizo”. It shows itself in the term TAB because there are PWD folk who are temporarily able bodied, just not temporarily able minded. The abbreviation constructs body as the only important aspect that can be abled or disabled and acts (probably unintentionally) in erasure of those who are PWD simply due to something like ADD/ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder), Autism, Aspergers, Schizophrenia, Bipolar, BPD (borderline personality disorder) LD-NOS (learning disability), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and a host of other zones.

Then there’s the issue my partner pointed out when helping me proofread this post. Even temporarily is problematic. Some folk never have a disability. Aging doesn’t do too much to them in those terms and some folk have things calm down or disappear. “Currently” is the word being suggested to fix this, so I’m just going to slide that into the terms right now.

This is, obviously, a problem. And it’s one that’s very simple to solve. You see, the word CAB still has use. Folks with disability related to the mental aspect (but none for physical) will not face the same things that folk with disability related to the physical aspect will face (but none for the mental) and vice versa. CAB and CAM (currently able minded) would be perfectly applicable in discussions and discourse about the specific types of ableism that each group faces. But ultimately, the overall term that represents those who are not PWD in any way needs to represent the full spectrum of disability by including all the aspects that are subject to it. Body and Mind.

So I suggest this: Currently Able Bodied/Minded. Or CAB/M (alternately one could just say CABM but I like me some back slashes). I wouldn’t say it’s a perfect solution. Terminology tends to go through many evolutions of adjustment and editing to fit just right. But it’s a good step. Others have other suggestions: see the language note at the bottom. And that’s completely fine. But in the end, something needs to change. The terminology needs to be fixed. Because it is beyond important that the PWD community, one of the only really safe places for folks with disabilities in a world where most groups ignore us or hurt us, does not engage in even unintentional ableism towards its own. The last refuge for PWD folk should be a refuge for all PWD folk, intersection or primary line, either and any way.

So there it is. The case for CAB/M, instead of TAB (or even just CAB). I hope it catches on. I’m tired of half of my disabilities being ignored in the terms.



50 Responses to “The Body Is Not The Only Aspect That Can Be Abled”

  1. I know Lauredhel at Hoyden About Town/Feminists With Disabilities uses TAB to mean Temporarily ABled, which works for physical and mental disabilities.

  2. Doi, you already knew that. Serves me right for reading a post and not clicking through links! ;o)

  3. 3 Joe

    It’s really interesting reading this series for me. I’ve got a boatload of things that may or may not fall under the category of disability (depending on who you ask), both physically and mentally, which I’ve always kind of brushed aside when conversations on ableism have come up. These posts have provided me with some wonderful food for thought on exactly how they impact me & my relationship with others, as well as how I view others in relationship to their current varying levels of ability/disability. Thanks for having the courage & willingness to share your experiences/views.

  4. XD Yeah I spotted that. It could work as a term too, definitely.

  5. Yeah… I used to think it didn’t matter, because my brain is part of my body, but then I discovered there is some serious psychophobia amongst people with only “physical” disabilities. :/ Like, there is actually a debate over whether people w/ mental disabilities can use the spoon theory. And recently, I saw someone say, “I don’t consider that person disabled. They just have mental issues.” Not a nice thing to hear after I finally stopped telling myself that depression & anxiety aren’t ~real~ disabilities.

    So you’re right, it matters! I’m going with current abled, myself.

  6. I usually write Currently Able Privileged (when I have able privilege w/r/t mind and body). Since I am having a bit of an episode w/r/t OCD right now, I would this moment say I’m currently able bodied to account for the privilege I do have.

    Great post!

  7. Currently abled…short and sweet, I like it!

  8. Thanks! Currently Abled or Currently Able Privileged are really good ones too.

  9. Thanks for linking to my comment. I’m glad my language is useful. Thanks also for pointing out the flaw in “bodied.” I think I’m going to go with “Currently Able” for now. You know, until someone points out something better to me.

  10. Currently Able prolly is the best call. I like CAB/M but I’m not so attached to it that I’d die if we didn’t use it. XD

  11. I like ‘currently able’, and it’s what I find myself using a lot.

    ALTHOUGH. I guess in its broadness, I feel like there may be an argument against it due to its implying that PWD are unable in other ways? Like, that they can’t get stuff done, or whatever? The connection there may be tenuous–I don’t feel well-informed enough to say whether or not it’s a valid one. CAB/M is probably safer, but maybe a little less intuitive…I don’t know which is better.

    Also, this is a faboo post. As your work generally is.

  12. I wrote a blog post about this at BBC Ouch a few years back. Personally, I use non-disabled, but a non-disabled person in the comments suggested
    “disability challenged” which I kind of liked…

  13. Disability challenged is kind of an awesome phrase, actually. XD

  14. BTW, here is the stillborn “Is alcoholism a disability?” post… thought you might find it interesting!

    http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/2009/11/hear-that-lonesome-whippoorwill-he.html

  15. 15 Samantha

    Let me first just say, I found your blog though FWD/Forward and… I *like* it! :3

    I’m thinking maybe CAP: Currently Abled Person. I feel it reflects well with Person With Disabilities. Person/Person. Goodness!

  16. I’m extremely fond of “currently enabled”, but I suspect it could be quite confusing for those who don’t make the enabled->disabled jump, so I used “currently abled” or “currently (en)abled” as well. (That was the product of a discussion by amandaw on the subject at Feministe, btw., which is why a few people use it.) Another benefit of “currently” over “temporarily” is that there are people who are CA now but have some Damocles sword hanging over their head – gene that basically guarantees they’ll get a specific disability in the future, progressive illness that doesn’t yet show any symptoms, that kind of thing. “Temporarily” feels like rubbing that into their face. (A poster on the Feministe thread brought this up.)

    And, btw, so with you when it comes to “able-bodied” feeling exclusive. I’ve seen the argument that the brain is a body part so of course we’re included! but that really ignores things like psychophobia in the disability rights movement. Also, there are disabilities that don’t neatly fit the mind/body dichotomy – I have a speech disorder that’s probably neurological in basis, which would technically make me *both* able-bodied *and*, if I didn’t also have AS and anxiety and depression issues, “able-minded” (I hate that word so much somehow).

    Plus, able-bodied seems to me as if it’s buying into the medical model again – focussing “disabled” on our bodies instead of society.

    (I have strong thoughts on the matter! Strong enough I had to hop over when I saw the link from your comment on FWD.)

  17. I’ll give it a look, thanks. XD

  18. Yeah psychophobia in the disability rights movement is the biggest concern I have on this one. It’s really just safer to yank the problematic elements out of the terms so they have less ammo to legitimize their bigotry. And the medical model is so horribly destructive to pretty much everything it touches at this point. Getting it from both the trans and the PWD end really illustrates that strongly.

    And that’s a really good point about the poor fit for mind/body dichotomy. Currently En/Abled seems like a really good option overall.

  19. CAP is definitely a nice one, because person/person is the best way to go. Avoiding Oppositionalism is a good call and there’s nothing more oppositionist than dehumanizing the other groups in terminology.

    It’s just like how trans person is opposite cis person. Not cis, cis person. It would be hypocritical to do otherwise.

  20. 20 Tlönista

    Here via FWD. A much-needed discussion, I think. I’m a fan of “currently able”.

    Re: psychophobia in disability rights, I think it might go the other way too. I recently volunteered at a film festival about mental illness. One of the two venues was completely inaccessible to anyone with limited mobility, and there were only subtitles if the film was in a foreign language…etc., etc. Which makes me think the organizers did not think of people with MI as a subset of the disabled community but something else altogether. (Also, that no one with MI, or interested in films about MI, has any other disability.)

    right stopping rambling now.

  21. I’d definitely say it goes both ways there. There’s psychophobia and bodily ableism both in the community.

  22. 22 GallingGalla

    Thank you for this. I currently have a number of physical and mental/developmental disabilities and have been concerned about the focus on physical disability within the community. I am glad that there is discussion of terms more inclusive than TAB. I say that as someone with anxiety, depression, some level of dissociation, and asperger’s.

    I see a lot of factualism and mutual ableism within the disability community, and it is not just physical vs. mental / developmental. One of my physical disabilities is chronic pain, which is completely invisible – even if I tell you that I have Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome, you cannot *see* any evidence of it. So try justifying to someone who uses a wheelchair why I need the elevator – perhaps my pain that day is so bad that I *cannot* walk steps. But I don’t *look* any different from a currently able-bodied person, so why am I on the elevator?

    And on the flip side, I find myself engaging in ableism against those who use mobility aids.

  23. There really does seem to be a huge amount of ableism within the community, directed at different zones of disability. It’s dismaying, because the ableism is intensely hypocritical from those sources.

  24. I just found your blog throuw FWD/Forward, and I find this post quite interesting. I personally tend to say “nondisabled” because it is the term that provides clarity to both people int he disability community and those unfamiliar with it. I have always had trouble understand the term TAB. The “temporary” part didn’t become clear to me until I read an explanation somewhere, and event hen it was strange (cause not everyone becomes disabled at one point) and I at one point interrpreted “able-bodied” to refer only to mobility impairment, so I never felt comfortable with the term cause I don’t have a mobility impairment.

    One point, however, regarding the able-bodied/able-minded controversy, is that some disability advocacy groups have for some reason felt obliged to distance themselves from those with somehow “real” defects in order to rationalize why they shouldn’t be discriminated against. For example, certain groups of disabled peopel should not be discriminated for employment because it is oh so easy to accommodate them; certain disabilities shouldn’t be cured because we might be eradicating genius that way, etc. I cringe whenever I see this tactic used within so-called disability advocacy, but then again it is the easiest way to get what you want, even if it’s at someone else’s expense. By the way, the same happened in the women’s movement, black civil rights movement, etc.

    As a side note, I mak no prtetense of never making ableist statements myself, since I am not familiar with every possible disability. OH well, in fact, the term I used to use to describe my autism before it was identified, “behavioral disturbance”, is considered ableist within the autistic community (and I assume many other communities of people with neurological/mental disabilities). I hate to hear that coming out of someone else’s mouth now.

  25. 25 Jemima Aslana

    I’ve been through that one as well. “Oh you don’t have a handicap, you’re just troubled.” ARGH! No, I have Asperger’s, that’s a wee bit more than “just troubled”. It’s troublesome to be sure, but that’s because the world insists on being a jerk about it.

  26. 26 Jemima Aslana

    I dislike the broad term “currently abled” because of the psychophobia among the CAB and the opposite ableism among the CAM. So I’ll definitely go with your suggestions here. CAB and CAM cover what they need to without excluding anyone (that I can tell), and I think it’s important to keep them separate, because physical disabilities and mental disabilities don’t really have a whole lot in common, other than counting as disabled in comparison with those who are abled on both accounts. Perhaps we ought also distinguish between PWMD and PWPD, as in Person With Mental/Physical Disability. I know I’m a PWMD, but I’m not at all physically disabled, only to the extent that my mental disability hampers my mobility and my hearing in certain specific situations.

  27. @ Jemima Aslana: I have to disagree with oyou on the strict difference betwene mental and physical disabilities. As you yourself point out, mental disabilities can have physical consequences. So can side effects of medications you have to take fo ryour mental disability. In the opposite direction, physical disabilities can have mental consequences, such as depression/anxiety. Besides, of course there are also people (like myself) with both physical and mental disabilities.

  28. 28 Jemima Aslana

    Indeed they can and sometimes do. But that is one disability leading to another. Lumping in the same group would be indicating that they always belong together, and while chronic physical diseases can sometimes cause stress, anxiety, depression and other assorted mental issues, they don’t always do so. There is a strict difference between them. That there is sometimes a causal relationship between them doesn’t magically make them the same.

    My own example is a poor one, btw, but you can’t tell because I didn’t elaborate. My mobility is not physically hampered, it is hampered by me hating to be physically close to other people. It’s a different kind of immobility. My hearing is not hampered, my filters for seperating important sounds from background noise are ineffectual due to my ASD, thus not being a physical disability but sometimes masking as one.

    Side-effects of medications can be debilitating, but physical side-effects of a psychopharmaceuticals do not make disorders of the psyche a physical disability. It only makes the medications physically debilitating – and sometimes mentally debilitating, too.

    Saying that a mental disability is also physical just because it *can* cause physical issues is like saying women are lesbians because women *can* be lesbians.

    Genderbitch made a really good point about how discriminations are different depending on whether your disability is physical or mental. The only place where a physical disability is similar discrimination-wise to a mental disability is when oth are invisible, and that’s a sub-group to both types of disability.

  29. 29 Dar

    This distinction between body and mind is artificial. The mind and body are one. To say that a disability “of the mind” is separate from a disability “of the body” is similar to saying that a disability of the foot is different from a disability of the circulatory system. Sure, those are two very different disabilities, and you can have one without the other, but they can still be linked in various ways. (Like in me.)

    There are many disabilities that do indeed involve both “mind” and “body”. In fact, they are inextricably linked. (Like in mine.) For you to say that there is a “strict difference” pretty much negates my existence. I know that’s not what you meant, but these sorts of generalizations can be harmful.

  30. Quite often, the folk who make the claim you make (certainly a valid claim from a base abstract concept viewpoint) tend to then continue to push their psychophobia on folks with just mental disabilities in favor of those with disabilities that affect the musculature and whatnot.

    This psychophobia is unbelievably problematic and ableist and often, simply referring to people as TAB or CAB (currently able bodied) contributes to the psychophobic erasure of individuals who don’t have both “mind” and “body” or just “mind”.

    Your existence isn’t negated, they are not invariably separate, nor is the term use designed to create such an impression (hence why it’s CAB/M, including both in the same word) so i really have no idea where you’re getting this impression.

  31. 31 Jemima Aslana

    Indeed, the mind is part of the body and disabilities are often linked – often with a degree of causality between them. BUT as long as we live in a society that discriminates differently based on physical and mental disabilities we do need to keep them separate. Not in treatment of course, as that needs to take into account everything.

    Of course you know I did not mean to negate your existence, I specifically stated so. Perhaps there is no difference to you, who have a disability of both kinds (if I’m reading your post right), but to me who ‘only’ has a mental disability and is repeatedly told that I’m not *really* disabled, there is a HUGE fucking difference between physical and mental.

  32. 32 Kezmoo

    Sorry I’m late, but I feel the need to point out that both the terms ‘bodied’ and ‘minded’ leave sensory disabilities out in the cold.

    My hearing impairment doesn’t seem to count as either.

  33. CAB/M/S?

    Although honestly, Currently Abled is probably the best option. Currently Able Bodied is erasing but Currently Abled really isn’t.

  34. 34 Dar

    I was referring to the comments directly above mine.

    “I think it’s important to keep them separate, because physical disabilities and mental disabilities don’t really have a whole lot in common” seems to make it pretty clear that physical and mental disabilites are separate and never the twain shall meet, in the opinion of the commenter.

    “There is a strict difference between them. That there is sometimes a causal relationship between them doesn’t magically make them the same.” has the same effect.

    That makes me feel a tad negated, and I don’t think it’s up to you to tell me how I feel, especially if you do not have a disability that is both mental and physical at the same time, part and parcel, entwined and inextricable.

  35. 35 darmavison

    I see that you must have the last word.

    That does not change the fact that I and many others are left out of your neatly divided world, or that you have just negated us again.

    I realize this comment will never get past moderation, because if it did it would make no sense, since you’ve deleted my response to the above.

    I just want you to honestly think about how you’ve done what you say other people are doing. This constant division and separation and categorization does only that – it divides and separates and categorizes. And this is your blog, so you are well within your rights to delete those who don’t agree with you. But please think about those of us who do not fit your paradigm.

  36. Oh certainly, I was trying to get across the idea that there was no attempt to negate you. I apologize if my clarity was low. Do you have a suggestion for a functional term that would not negate you or us?

  37. I might be being totally dense here, but I thought a hearing impairment was a physical disability – it’s part of your physical body that doesn’t function properly, just like blindness is a physical disability? Or am I totally missing the mark?

  38. Yes, I’m liking ‘Currently Abled’ as a catch-all term, rather than separating it out into ‘bodies’ and ‘minds’.

  39. You seem to have made some silly assumptions.

    One: Your comment isn’t deleted, for some reason your comments keep getting caught in my queue and I have to push them into approved. But hey, let’s pretend you’re being censored and cry wolf a lot. Because that isn’t embarrassing at all for you. UPDATE: It’s because you keep on changing your name’s spelling and capitalization. You realize my mod queue holds everything that is new right? And then anything that’s the same as a past approved name will go through as a trust comment. You’re the one dumping your comments into moderation, not me.

    Two: If you’re suggesting that we use Temporarily/Currently Abled Bodied as a uniting term, then you are negating us by ignoring psychophobia in the community. I am not attached to increasing levels of categorization. Quite the opposite, I actually really like the term “Currently Abled” or CA as it is simple, inclusive and to the point. Reading over the comments would reveal my positive reaction to the CA term.

    Three: I only seek to speak out against that which I disagree with. If my disagreement has been rendered inert by good argument or by not possessing an adequate counter, I will still respond to concede. Assuming that’s some sort of “omg I have the last word! Nyah Nyah!” is extraordinarily insulting. I would appreciate it if you avoided such awfully irritating assumptions in the future.

  40. That really is my preference now too.

  41. I guess it would depend on the concepts folk used for the labeling in the first place. Technically mind disabilities would come under that heading too, but regularly folks will exclude them with psychophobia. So honestly, it’s just wise to be cautious about it.

  42. 42 Jemima Aslana

    Oh, I’m sorry you feel that all disabilities are the same. I’m very sorry my experience does not fit your world view. I’m very sorry you can’t seem to read my fucking words.

    I never said the two kinds of disabilities never shall meet. I said they were different, and I clarified that they are treated very differently by society. This is a fact. That you have both and they both are inextricably linked with your life dos not negate this, nor does it negate your existence. No matter how you want to interpret my words.

    However, lumping them together as in Currently Abled is just not good enough. I have a mental disability, but I am currently able-bodied. That means I have access to many spaces where wheelchair users can never go. It means I have access to toilets in many places, where wheelchair users and other mobility-impaired will have to wait and hold it in.

    So what do I choose? Am I currently abled? Or am I disabled. It’s like asking me to choose between identifying as woman or as autist. I can’t somehow be both at the same time.

    To distinguish between mental and physical disability adds another word and category to the list of some people. To refuse to distinguish between them forces me to choose only one, namely disabled or currently abled. And neither fits me. I have a mental disability – but my body functions fine. And the way people treat me tells me and shows me every single fucking day that there is a difference.

    Who’s negating whose experience?

  43. 43 Jemima Aslana

    Except that, as I commented above, currently able-bodied applies to me, while currently abled does not because of my mental disability.

  44. From what I understand of the structure of CA, it was intended more umbrella style. Basically if someone had even one disability of any one type, they were no longer CA (but were say, CAB or CAM or CAS or so on and so forth or combinations)

    Does that seem more workable? Sort of having an umbrella term and then having the splits under it? Or is that still problematic?

  45. 45 Jemima Aslana

    Oh, I don’t at all mind the umbrella-term. I’d use it without question probably – for faster communication. But unlike what some commenters have argued it is necessary to distinguish for those of us who have one type of disability but not another.

    With just CA, I can choose to call myself CA and pretend I’m not mentally disabled, or I can choose to call myself disabled (because if we don’t distinguish on one side of the fence we can’t do it on the other), and be told that I’m totally not disabled because mental disability doesn’t count and isn’t half as bad as so and so [insert example of physical disability].

    If we distinguish between physical disabilities, mental disabilities and sensory disabilities in how we describe ourselves and how we have been forced to relate to the world, then we do need to have the CAB/CAM/CAS distinctions too.

    But that absolutely does not exclude the possibility of an umbrella term. Currently Abled would work for those who have no disabilities at all, after all. It is simply my fear that if we only have the umbrella-term then certain disabilities will not be allowed under it – as is happening in many disability communities, where psychophobia is a common pastime for many.

  46. Okies. That’s understandable. I’m iffy too about cutting away discourse that enables us to combat psychophobia and ableism against learning disabilities.

  47. 47 darmavison

    I’m going to try once more to make myself clear. Obviously I’ve been doing a shite job of communicating so I’ll try harder.

    You wrote that that there is no similarity between physical and mental disabilities and that they are totally different. I tried to make the point that there are disabilities that are both, at the same time, physical and mental in nature, simultaneously, so the “totally different” thing doesn’t apply to them. I failed to make the point.

    Nowhere did I say that mental disabilities are in any way “lesser” than physical ones. Nowhere did I suggest that you are in any way less disabled if your disability is of a mental nature. I merely stated that the either/or scenario excludes people.

    I never said you can’t distinguish between then either. I only said that if you are going to distinguish, you also have to allow for disabilities that are both. (Sort of like the inclusion of “other” on a form asking for gender identity.)

    I understand that you are tired of people negating your disability because it’s invisible to them. You are not alone. I understand the stigma society places on mental disability, particularly autism. I have fought for the rights of my oldest child every day of every week for twenty years.

    I admit that I don’t understand your reasoning for rejecting the all encompassing term “Currently Abled”. (I have a different reason for finding it problematic, as I think the word “Abled” suffices, but that’s neither here nor there.)

    Wheelchair users are only one segment of the population of people with physical disabilities. Not everyone with a mobility impairment is so impaired that they can’t use public toilets. Not everyone with a physical disability has a mobility impairment. Many people with physical disabilities have other kinds of impairments that have nothing to do with the need for ramps and grab bars and adequate space for maneouvering. Many can “pass”, and feel the need to do so. Many physical disabilities, particularly ones that women tend to get more, are dismissed as “in your head”.

    To me, that makes it all the more important to “lump” everyone together, because if everyone who had a disability, no matter of what sort, made it clear that discrimination and stigmatization and marginalization on the basis of disability is unacceptable on any level, then we would all benefit. (And we might find out that we’re a majority after all.)

    I should add that I’m old. I come at this from a very old-school, political, activist, united-we-are-strong (anarchist) background. That’s not where you (plural, blog owner and poster and all involved in the discussion) are coming from, and I didn’t mean any disrespect when I stated where I’m coming from. It’s inappropriate in places like this, which seem public but in reality are not. They are private spaces, and I should not have intruded.

  48. For me personally, what I’ve experienced with the lumping everyone together more often than not (in other communities, I haven’t seen it in the PWD community yet) is an inclination for certain parts of the community that are lumped to downplay everyone else and even try to exclude the more unusual types.

    The lumping doesn’t seem to stop this, if anything it seems to give more strength to these hijackers who try to turn the entire community’s work into just about them, excusing it as solidarity. This has most notably occurred with the massive and continuing betrayals of the Trans community by the rest of the GLBT community.

    I like the idea of having a big squishy community made up of highly diverse groups working for the same goals. It just… never seems to go that way in the end, no matter how well intentioned the originators are.

    I feel like the best compromise is an umbrella term and then split terms that go underneath it (which should definitely include folk with mixed mind and body disabilities and sensory ones too). The split terms allow us to address ableism directed to those specific zones in the community and the umbrella term keeps those split terms from becoming dividing.

    So we’re all PWD. Big squishy community. But some of us have mental disabilities. Others have physical. Some of mixtures. Others have ones that merge in points. Some have sensory, etc etc. I think that largely it is good to have these words for discourse and still have the larger group name.

    It gives us the tools we need to fight the ableism of our own, a very real threat, without scattering us to the four winds.

    Also, these terms are important for identity. Identity is always gonna be a big deal.

  49. 49 MGB

    I know I’m so beyond late to the party, but I use CNDP – Currently Non Disabled Person/s. I originally found it at this amazing article (http://modusdopens.wordpress.com/2010/01/29/de-centering-non-disability/) and love the way it centers disabled people, so.

  50. @MGB:

    I really like that. Thank you for the find.


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