By Katie

*No one has actually asked any of these questions.

Q: Are you disabled?

A: Yep. Born and raised.

Q: Why do you use the term “able-bodied” to refer to people who aren’t disabled? Isn’t “non-disabled” more inclusive?

A: I’ve heard arguments as to why “non-disabled” is better and most hinge upon people with psychiatric and cognitive impairments being “able-bodied.” After all, the impairment lies in their brains not in their bodies. This may shock you to read/hear this, but after years of intense study, I have discovered that the brain is encased inside the body. Some might go as far to say that the brain is part of the body. Flabbergasting, I know. (I realize that this is a very Western way of thinking. In other modes of thought, disability might result from forces outside of the body. The disability paradigms I employ depend largely on the text at hand, but my use of terms stems from my own embodied understandings of disability.)

The whole mind-body binary has been, I believe, rather harmful and divisive for the disability community (in the West at least). My mom recalls her mother telling her, “At least your brain works.” Only having a physical or mental impairment is seen as somewhat of a consolation prize. “Sorry, you’re a cripple, but at least you’re not one of those cripples.” It’s extremely othering and one of the tools an ableist world uses to prevent people with disabilities from uniting or forming coalitions across impairment groups and taking ableism down. Where does “at least your brain/body works” place people who have a combination of mental and physical disabilities? In a really awkward position, I say from experience.

Q: Why didn’t you talk about whats-his-face on such-and-such-a-show?

A: Likely because I’m not familiar enough with the canon. I know Charles Xavier uses a wheelchair, but I’m not familiar enough with his stories to perform an adequate analysis. I’m on a lifelong quest to master all the sci-fi/fantasy/cult favorite fandoms, but I’m a long way from conquering all of nerd-dom. I appreciate recommendations and heads up about fandoms that feautre disabled characters.

Q: What fandoms are you familiar with?

M*A*S*H (the first three seasons, the rest are dead to me), Star Trek: TOS, Farscape, Being Human UK, Misfits, Doctor Who (the new series), Torchwood, Grimm, Once Upon a Time, Lost, True Blood, American Horror Story, Harry Potter, Buffy: the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Dollhouse, Carnivàle, Community, Star Trek: TNG, Star Trek: TAS, Star Trek: DS9, Fringe, Twin Peaks, The Booth at the End, Elementary, Hannibal, the IT Crowd, Orphan Black, Avatar: the Last Airbender, Avatar: the Legend of Korra.

I’m working my way through Star Trek: Voyager and Red Dwarf right now.

I’m always open to recommendations!

Q: Can I use any of the super cool images you obviously so carefully edited and published on your blog?

A: Why, yes, you can. If you use them on the intertubes, please credit this blog. If you use them for a school assignment or academic work, cite them so you don’t get in trouble. If you use them for work or commercial purposes, please tell me how it is you make money with pictures from sci-fi television.


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Space Crip

People with disabilities? In my sci-fi? It's more likely than you think.

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