The big idea of the social model is to distinguish between ‘impairment’ and ‘disability’: ‘impairment’ is someone’s condition, ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis, or ‘chronic fatigue syndrome’) in my case, whereas ‘disability’ describes the way that impaired people are oppressed and excluded from society on top of their impairments. This challenges the assumption that disabled people need… Read more It’s not ME, it’s you – can the chronically ill embrace the social model?
Disabled activist, Stella Young recently wrote: ‘The social model tells us that we are far more disabled by inaccessible environments and hostile attitudes than we are by our physicality. My disability comes not from the fact that I’m unable to walk but from the presence of stairs.’ How true is this of people who are… Read more Ill versus disabled – is there a distinction between the two?
I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. Sorry I can’t make it to your birthday party, your family gathering, your funeral. Sorry, no, I can’t come over for tea on Friday. Why? No, I’m not doing anything else. But I’m going out for lunch the Tuesday before. Yes, I know that gives me Wednesday and Thursday to… Read more Sorry
by Ella Sumpter I have been given a power wheelchair that used to belong to my wife’s grandfather. I am very grateful. It will be very useful when I have to go to the local shops, or be somewhere where I am expected to stand around or stay on my feet a long time. It… Read more Stairs or stares? Obstacles to using a wheelchair with invisible illness
Rebecca Boot tackles the painful subject of employability I’m back at university, studying again after my body threw a fantastic tantrum the last time I tried it. My university has a real focus on employment and one of the highest graduate employment rates in the country. That is great, everyone wants to be able to… Read more 2. EMPLOYMENT Chronic Illness and graduation
“Under this Pro-Spoonie government I still don’t feel well but I do feel better about myself and my role in society.” *‘Spoonie’ is an informal term for people who live with chronic energy limiting illness. I am just home from going out in my new wheelchair. It was great to go out socially and not… Read more Spoonie Utopia*: an inclusion thought experiment
Sarah Campbell asks whether chronic illness needs its own set of responses to social security, employment and social care. I have a combination of both a chronic illness and a progressive muscle condition, offering me insight into both “worlds” of invisible fluctuating illness and visible physical impairment. Some issues are extremely different while others are… Read more Accessing Support: A system geared toward physical impairments.
Catherine Hale looks back at how half a lifetime of chronic illness slowly changed her understanding of “disability”. I’ve been sick for nearly 30 years. That’s the whole of my adult life. I always thought of myself as “disabled” in the sense of being very incapacitated. During my bedbound phase I couldn’t wash, feed myself,… Read more From “sick” to “disabled”: my own journey