Crip Theory

Don’t really know what ableism means? Maybe you don’t understand the different models of disability or just stuck on how to explain spoon theory. Then you’ve come to the right place. Here you will find all the information behind crip theory.

  • What is radical acceptance?

    What is radical acceptance


    Radical acceptance sounds like the kind of new-age bull you might want to steer clear of, along with juice cleanses and ‘think yourself better’, but it’s not what you think.

    Before we talk about what radical acceptance really is, we need to highlight what it definitely isn’t!

    Radical acceptance is not approval of a situation. Just because you are accepting a situation for what it is, it does not mean that you think it’s good or right. It just means you are aware you can’t change it.

    Radical acceptance, at its core, is about recognising what we can and can’t control in our lives. There are some things, like whether or not you become sick, you don’t get a say in. It’s about finding a way to live with that situation as peacefully as possible.

    For many chronically ill people it can be hard, particularly when first diagnosed, to accept the challenges and limitations a chronic diagnosis can bring. Sometimes, it can feel that the negatives outweigh all the positives in our daily lives. Radical acceptance is one way to help balance the complexity of feelings chronic illnesses and disability can bring.


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    **Trigger warning for this post just because of the mention of medical trauma, PTSD, COVID etc**

    Medical trauma is something you hear in the disabled community a lot but rarely do we talk about what counts as medical trauma – and I think you might be surprised to learn how much actually does!


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    Usable hours is a way of explaining how fatigue affects your ability to do things. We all have the same number of hours in a day but for someone with fatigue, they only have a limited number in which they can complete tasks.


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  • You Don’t Have to Be Disabled and Poor but It’s More Likely

    When it comes to disability and money, there is a tendency to equate disability with poverty.

    This is mainly caused by the narrative that surrounds disability – that you can’t achieve, you can’t possibly live a life that isn’t just solely based on your being disabled and you certainly aren’t able to earn. ⁠

    There’s a common misconception that to get help as a disabled person you must first live below the poverty line. ⁠

    As a result, we as a society find it hard to see disabled people own nice things or for them to even want them.

    So what can we do about this? Let’s talk about how we can shift this narrative!


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  • Social Model vs Medical Model in Disability – What’s The Difference?

    When we look at disability, there are two very different models used, called the medical and social models of disability.

    The medical model looks at disability as something that needs to be fixed or changed. Disability is seen as a bad thing, even if it doesn’t cause someone pain or harm.

    The social model of disability says that a person is only disabled because of society’s inaccessibility and the way it treats disability, rather than their difference.

    Let’s explore the differences between the two models in more detail!


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  • Narrative surrounding disability

    The media is an incredibly powerful tool and is the shortcut to understanding experiences that are not our own. This is especially true when it comes to disability representation.

    While this can be a good thing because disabled people are being represented, the issue comes with how we are being represented.

    The media shows disabled people as only being one of two things – the poor disabled person who can’t get over the fact that disability has affected their life, or the inspirational person that despite all odds has overcome the challenges.

    Let’s take a closer look at these two narratives and why real disabled people need to be included in the representation that is created about them!


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  • Not your inspiration!

    Inspiration p⭐rn is a term that was coined in 2012 by disability rights activist Stella Young.

    This term portrays people with disabilities as inspirational, solely or in part because of their disability and describes how disabled people are often used as motivation for non-disabled people.

    Stella’s reason for using the term p⭐rn was to highlight the objectification of one group of people for the benefit of another group of people.

    So what exactly is inspiration p⭐rn and why can this term be a bad thing? Let’s take a further look!


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  • When it comes to chronic illness why do some people not like the warrior narrative?

    When we find ourselves in conversations about minor illnesses, even a cold, there is a tendency for people to use the language of war, such as fighting or battling.

    People with medical conditions are often called “warriors” and under this description are encouraged to battle their illness and push themselves.

    Using the term warrior can be helpful for some people as a means of describing the challenges of being sick to others who are not living with an illness. But for others, the narrative can make them uncomfortable.

    This isn’t to say that it’s not a struggle for them, but people with chronic illness are who they are first and foremost, and not a warrior.

    Let’s look into why the warrior narrative doesn’t feel helpful and comfortable for some of the chronic illness community.

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  • Why wellness culture is toxic for chronic illness

    With the wellness industry valued at $3.7 trillion in 2015 and continuing to be on the rise, it can be easy to get sucked into the latest wellness trends and crazes.

    Many are jumping on the wellness bandwagon and while this may seem like a positive thing, it is not so positive when it comes to chronic illness.

    There are juice bars on every corner, mindfulness apps advertised relentlessly on social media, and wellness influencers praising celery juice or the latest cleanse as a miracle cure. These serve as constant reminders of the unrealistic promise that you can recover from any illness with enough work.

    But this is not the only reason why wellness culture is so bad for the chronic illness community.

    Wellness culture has been influencing the beliefs of doctors more and more, to the extent that they believe it’s a one size fits all cure for everything, even if it ends up harming you in the long run.


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  • What’s the difference between person first and identity first language?

    Who knew that as an individual with a disability, it’s our responsibility, to guide non-disabled people as to our choice of language to use about ourselves? 

    I knew there were going to be a lot of adjustments when I became chronically ill but I really didn’t anticipate this one! 

    The dehumanisation of the disabled has been, and continues to be, a huge issue and so choosing the type of language we want to be referred to by is a reminder to the outside world that we are still real people. 

    As shocking as it is, it’s still all too common to hear people saying things like “the disabled”, or referring to someone as “a wheelchair”. This is an attempt to separate us  in society so non-disabled people don’t have to think about our wants, needs, rights or feelings. 

    So it’s time to take control of the narrative and dictate whether you want to be spoken of in person first or identity first language. 


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