I Remember This: The Girls With the Black Bars Over Their Faces

2 side by sde b/w photos of a young white woman wearing only a Milwaukee back brace, with black bars covering her eyes and breasts. On the left is her back, on the right, she's in profile.

Source: researchgate.net: (Reprinted from Blount WP, Schmidt AC, Bidwell RG. Making the Milwaukee brace. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1958;40:526–528 with permission from Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc., Needham, MA.)


1977. I am 11 years old. I am half-naked in a crowded hospital hallway.

I’ve gotten ten steps down the hall from the exam room where my mother is waiting before I fully appreciate that my fish-white thighs are fully on display.
My thighs are doing their best to walk the rest of me onward. The rest of me is wearing underpants, an all-too-sheer white t-shirt, and a Milwaukee back-brace.
The words, You are half-naked in public, explode in my mind like a bad-dream bomb.
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#TiredOfAbleism? Calling All Naptivists to Join the 1st Nap-a-thon for Disability Rights Advocacy March 13-15, 2020

Photo of a pooch napping belly-up on a couch 1st Nap-a-thon for Disability Rights March 13-15 2020 #TiredOfAbleism




Disability rights advocacy is tough and tiring. Supporting disability rights advocates shouldn’t be. Napping as activism is an easy way to do it!


Here’s what you DO:

1. You, your kid, dog, cat, horse, or sloth companion nap anytime between 3/13-15/20 and snap of photo of you doing it. Post it on social media with #TiredOfAbleism. Include alt-text!
Here’s where you can follow the action:
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/196300241622595/
On Twitter: @IngridTischer, @DREDF
2. Post a message with your photo: “I’m napping for disability rights because I’m #TiredOfAbleism. We need to bring attention to ableism and support Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) in fighting discrimination. Will you give a donation in honor of my nap?”
B/W photo of a young white man sleeping peacefully with a calico kitty

Photo courtesy of a Naptivist team

3. Add a FB Donate button or a link to dredf.org/support-our-work/, and note “naptivism.” All donation amounts welcome!

→ Scroll down for The Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Support Naptivism for Disability Rights March 13-15, 2020


Top left-right: A basset hound sleeping; a golden retriever napping; a white woman napping on a couch in an office; middle row left-right: a white woman holding a small sleeping child; 2 cats curled in a basket; a little dog napping belly-up on an office floor; bottom row left-right: a woman napping with a cat; a white guy cuddling a blanket and stuffed frog; a lounging white woman

All images courtesy of Naptivists

Disability media peeps! Naptivism is an example of crip-led activism and philanthropy shifting the disability narrative from:

  • “awareness” to advocacy

  • charity to social justice

  • using less accessible fundraisers to more inclusive action


Young woman sleeping at her desk. Text: #TiredOfAbleism NAPTIVIST www.talesfromthecrip.org

This Hero Naptivist could be you on World Sleep Day, 3/13/20. Will you answer the call of naptivism for the cause of disability rights?

Long ago when I was a disabled fundraiser at Breast Cancer Action, I jokingly said sleeping was more my thing than some 3-day-schlepp for “awareness.” Yada yada, it’s the 1st annual nap-a-thon for disability rights advocacy!

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And Now a Word From the FuckAbility™ Research Council’s Behind the Trailer on Apple TV’s “SEE”

Photo of an abandoned, beat-up trailer in a wooded area The FuckAbility TM Research Council Presents BEHIND THE TRAILER Copyright 2019 Tales From the Crip

Welcome to Behind the Trailer, where we at the FuckAbility™ Research Council tiptoe into the seriously shady trailers of movies and tv shows to explore whether you’d want to waste more than three minutes on them.

First up – the trailer for SEE, an all-caps Alec-Baldwin-free Apple TV series about being blind while doing some post-apocalyptic camping. The premise: The world’s been destroyed and nobody can SEE but blind actors still aren’t getting cast even in roles for characters who can’t SEE.

On the plus side, Jason Momoa is back in his finest Kal Drogo kit and there’s some lovely styling of rustic interiors that may push me into finally buying a fake-fur throw for our futon couch. Also: Good to see actors of color in lead roles. Continue reading

TryHarder™ Magazine: The Disability Etiquette Issue Featuring the Dowager Crippess From Downwith Ableism

TryHarder™ Magazine: The Magazine for People Who Need to Try Harder, 2 cents

Issue No. 5: The Disability Etiquette Issue

In which Mx. Crip-Manners is most grateful for any etiquette-related #CripTips the Dowager Crippess of Downwith Ableism might care to offer

Gif from Downton Abbey of the Dowager Countess in full evening regalia, stamping her cane for emphasis.

“My dear, if punctuality is the courtesy of kings, then access is the etiquette of ableds.”


 What is a ‘forgetting of the access’?

2 cents symbolEtiquette is so inextricably bound to access that I cannot countenance this notion of ‘disability etiquette’. Disabled people do not require ‘special’ manners.
There is nothing remarkable about courtesy, except regarding the lack of it many disabled people encounter. I have never understood how any well-intentioned host could ‘forget’ to offer a navigable entrance to guests.  We do not ‘forget’ to offer our guests chairs, for example, do we? Why, imagine it – it would be like one of those exceedingly tedious ‘cocktail’ parties where one is forced to stand as if one is in the court of Louis XIV. 

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I Remember This: I See a Disabled Person

Cartoonized image of Ingrid Tischer's eyes in close-up.I remember this:

I am eight. I am waiting alone for the little bus inside the doors of my school, White Sulphur Springs Elementary, in the Catskills. I glimpse a small girl not  far away – tired, leaning against the wall like it was holding her up. Seeing her, I feel a sorrow for her. The sorrow is bigger than me, it blooms out of my stomach and swallows me whole like a monstrous flower.  In the next instant, I see that I’m looking at myself in the reflection of a display cabinet’s glass doors. I am angry at myself – first, for letting myself look like that  – then, for looking like that. Then I know that I will never be faster than seeing is. It can get even me. This means that while I’ll empathize with strangers who feel sorry for me in decades to come – having done it myself – I’ll want them to snap out of it, too – as I did.

I’ve been the only (identified) disabled student in my classes in five schools since first grade, I see children “like me” at this clinic and on tv once a year during a telethon that makes me cringe. That’s it. I have a pronounced lack of images to work with and an inability to decipher the ones I do see.


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