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Crippen's slant on Disabled Pride / 23 September 2009

I recently posted this cartoon on Facebook and received emails from all over the world in support of the message that it contained. It’s not a new concept and I’ve lost count of the cartoons I’ve produced over the past couple of decades with the same message. But it still seems to hit the spot!

It seems that many of us Crips still feel oppressed and controlled by the many groups and organisations ‘for’ Disabled people that still exist, and who still insist that they are representing our aims and objectives.

Although some of these organisations have now started to include Disabled people on their management teams, there’s still a long way to go before all of these groups ‘for’ become groups ’of’ Disabled people and begin to truly represent us. Unfortunately, many of these groups ‘for’ are still wasting much of their resources on maintaining the status quo and are doing little to support us in our fight for Civil Rights.

Perhaps things could start to change if people, rather than just putting their money in the tins being rattled by disability groups, asked the question: “How many Disabled people are involved in the running of your organisation, and in what capacity?”.


World Wide movement

As well as regular contact with our friends in the States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, some of the emails I’ve received recently have been from Disabled people in Pakistan, India, Iraque, Afganistan, and Jordan. They are only just beginning to gain a voice in their own countries and have started to reach out to us here in the West to share our experiences of the fight for Civil Rights.

I’m starting to post links to some of these organisations on Facebook so if you’re a member and a friend of Crippen, please get in touch with them and offer your support. If you’re not yet a Facebook member, I recommend that you join and become a ‘friend’ of Crippen Disabled cartoonist. I’ll add you in and make sure that you’re kept up to speed with news and events.


Away from home

As some of you will be aware, I’m away from my home computer at the moment and relying on the use of Internet cafes and friends laptops to keep up to date with events and to post to my blog and other sites that I contribute to. It’s been great meeting up with old friends in the UK (although I’ve not been able to see everyone sadly) and if it wasn’t for the sun in Spain you know I’d be here braving the wet and cold with you all!


Disability Arts on Line (DAO)

Thanks to all you guys who have been logging on to this blog and other parts of the DAO site. It’s been fantastic to watch our figures grow as more of you become members and sign up to receive our newsletter. When you do visit, don’t be afraid to leave a comment on any of the blogs, etc. Even if it’s just to say hi!

Keywords: charities,disabled people's movement,



25 September 2009

(Preface: I don't "do" facebook. Not my kind of thing. Older...)

I like the cartoon.

I asked the question, "how many people running your organization (for people with

disabilities) starting in 1985, when I began the Disabled Artists' Network, not too long after becoming disabled. (A small group, "by post", US, professional artists

with all kinds of disabilities; not online; still ongoing.)

My "consciousness" was raised during the

women's art movement of the 1970s, in which I participated. I am for democratic art shows, nonjuried and run by artists, with only space being the limitation.

One of the things that shocked me, when I became disabled, was how many groups "for the disabled", asked for "free labor", from people with disabilities. Also was asked for "free art". No, was/is my answer to those groups who want to use disabled people to further their fundraising. Some groups asked, way back, and it's still valid ("Disability Rag", now morphed into the online "Ragged Edge", asked how much money for administration the nonprofits were taking from the fundraising, meaning, how much were they using for themselves, not people with disabilities. And, I found only one person with the disability in a group having an art show of people with disabilities in 1986 or so and it was she who pointed out that she was the "only one" and retiring.

Two groups offered me inducements to support them in the late 1980s. One offer was a solo show of my art in return for supporting a new gallery in a place

supporting disabled people,a group that had some state funding. I happened to know that one artist, whose idea it was to start the gallery, who had fought for it for years, was kept out. I pointed that out. I declined the offer. He was finally given space in a brief 2 person show.

The other offer was from a large group, but one of their offices in a neighboring state, of how much money would I need to run an office, and would I join with them and let them incorporate my small group? I declined. (Dare I make jokes that I never got a big enough offer to be "co-opted" as we called it, in the 1960s? Never been tempted. Autonomy is big for me. As long as I can.)

Disability culture has been a big item in the deaf community in the US for a long time. Gallaudet University in Washington, DC has had much student activity in getting a President who is deaf.

Disability culture is a huge topic.

CFS/ME ends this comment, chuckle.