What kinds of narratives about disability have shaped your understanding of disabled people? How does able-ist language infiltrate your day-to-day speech? Have you been a part of social justice groups that are inaccessible to disabled folks? How does learning about disability justice make you reflect on your own experiences with a culture focused on productivity, self-sufficiency, and performance differently?

Test Yourself

Discussion Questions

Why is it so hard to talk about disability without talking about inspiration or “special” status? Use examples from the reading by Eli Clare to describe “inspiration” and “supercrip” narratives. Why are these narratives so insidious? Next, work together to identify examples of ways that a disability justice framework moves beyond these narratives. Use examples from the readings and lessons to describe ways of talking about disability that do not use “supercrip” narratives.

Remember to check into eClass to submit upcoming activities and assignments, participate in the discussion board, and communicate with your instructor and teaching assistant.


“Ableism is The Bane of My Motherfuckin’ Existence.” 2017. Produced by Barnard Center for Research on Women, May 9, 2017. Youtube video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IelmZUxBIq0

Chivers, Sally. 2007. “Barrier By Barrier: The Canadian Disability Movement and the Fight for Equal Rights.” In Group Politics and Social Movements in Canada, edited by Miriam Smith, 307-28. Calgary: Broadview Press.

Clare, Eli. 2015. “The Mountain.” In Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation, 1-14. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. https://doi-org.login.ezproxy.library.ualberta.ca/10.1215/9780822374879-002

Clare, Eli. 2015. “Freaks and Queers, “ In Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation, 81-118. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. https://doi-org.login.ezproxy.library.ualberta.ca/10.1215/9780822374879-008 

“I’m Not Your Inspiration, Thank You Very Much – Stella Young.” 2014. Produced by TED. Youtube video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8K9Gg164Bsw

Peers, Danielle, and Lindsay Eales. 2012. “‘Stand Up’ for Exclusion?: Queer Pride, Ableism, and Inequality.” In Beyond the Queer Alphabet: Conversations on Gender, Sexuality and Intersectionality, edited by Malinda Smith and Fatima Jaffer, 39-41. https://www.academia.edu/3717749/E_Book_Beyond_the_Queer_Alphabet_Conversations_on_Gender_Sexuality_and_Intersectionality 

Sins Invalid. 2015. “10 Principles of Disability Justice.” Updated September 17, 2015. https://www.sinsinvalid.org/blog/10-principles-of-disability-justice 

UPIAS (The Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation). 1976. Fundamental Principles of Disability

“What is Deaf Culture by Flavia.” 2016. Produced by Flavia Fleischer, June 20, 2016. Youtube video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1xQaRbWHus

Withers, A. J. 2012. Disability Politics and Theory. Nova Scotia: Fernwood Publishing.