Super Crips

Crip tossing Super Crip

2012 Paralympics Crip Tossing

Overheard a conversation the other day between a couple of sporty wheelchair users. You know the type; massively developed upper body with tiny legs and feet strapped into the base of the chair. The sort that can do wheelies up and down stairs and tell non-disabled people that there’s no need for ramps and such!

Their main gripe it appeared was about the Cultural Olympiad and the money that was being spent getting disabled people involved.

“what is this Cultural Olympics (sic) then?” queried his friend.

“It’s a load of nutters and whimps getting money for doing Blue Peter stuff!” was the reply.

“But that’s not proper Olympics is it?!”

“No. And it’s them that give disability a bad name. At least we show people that we can achieve something for all the money they give to charity.”

You ever get the feeling that we’re just not getting through to some people?!

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Lynn Harrison on FaceBook (thanks Lynn)

    yeessss…. I do remember one wheelchair user who was well known for a party trick, attending meetings then standing up and walking about like Lazarus, I know she was making a point, but, it massively pissed off those who couldn’t. Also, these Para Lympics… don’t seem to be very inclusive to me… There has long been a controversial debate amongst mh survivors about ‘super users’ too.

    And, surely it would be much more helpful to disabled people if the paralympians boycotted this Atos-sponsored farce?? I would love to see empty stadiums with tumble weed blowing through them, maybe, I just don’t have the right attitude?

    Of course, those of us with mh dx, dont get a look in, as the rest of the people with hidden impairments, we just don’t have the required commerciality. ‎’And here we have the personality disorder pigeon feeding event’… can’t see it drawing much sponsorship!


  2. Posted by John Hargrave on 10/06/2012 at 06:08

    Lynn. You are right, people with mental health disabilities just don’t figure in many people’s plans. It is not just sad, it’s bloody unbelievable. People look at me and see my wheelchair but many people with hidden disabilities are totally overlooked, not included at all. Yet I too have a depressive illness. I’m often asked how I am, but people never ever refer to my mental state, just ask about my physical impairments.
    I really don’t know the answer – perhaps mental health needs a louder voice, an agenda for inclusion, but most of all people need to be able to discuss the subject quite openly without all the stigma and stereotyping. I bet there are millions of people in this country who have mental health problems but keep it to themselves for fears of rejection and finger pointing, this has to stop, it helps no one.


  3. The following was posted on one of my articles on the Disability Arts on Line blog. I think it relates to this post, so I’ll cut and paste it here for your comments:

    Posted by Izzy – “I take exception to your comments about wheelchair users who take the trouble to train and turn themselves into athletes. Having suffered a spinal injury in my late teens I’ve been confined to a wheelchair ever since. I’ve put myself through a tough training regeme and am now competing at championship level in several para-olympic sports. I take exception to those people with disabilities who can’t be bothered to get off their arses and expect the state to do everything for them. If I can do it, why can’t they?”

    Crippen’s reply: “Oh Izzy, Izzy, where do I start?!

    I think that you’ve got your blogs mixed up for a start. Perhaps you’re meaning to comment on my recent posting on the Crippen cartoon blog?

    Either way, you just don’t get it do you? Have you ever stopped to consider that the vast majority of disabled people are not like you. We have a wide range of impairment issues, including mental health issues and those imposed by illness.

    For me you typify the ‘Super Crip’ who by his/her conformity to the stereo typical perception of most non-disabled people, creates even more misunderstanding and hostility towards the rest of us.

    It’s great that you’ve found an outlet for your athletic aspirations, but please don’t dismiss the rest of us as worthless, benefit scroungers. We all have our different skills and could benefit more from working together to challenge this government and its heartless attacks.

    Perhaps you could follow the suggestion made earlier and refuse to take part in the Paralympics as a protest against Atos and its treatment of other disabled people?!”

    Crippen’s DAO blog can be found at –


  4. There is also the obvious difference between being sick and disabled, being sick is very disabling but people can be disabled and very well


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