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Disability Culture Questions Response

gwatkins's picture

I enjoyed reading the excerpt of Petra Kupper’s introduction to her book but I still don’t really feel that I have a full understanding of what disability culture is or am able to properly define it.  That sentence isn’t meant at all as a critique, I just think I would need to do more reading first and that not providing an exact definition of disability culture was intentional on her part.  My answers to the questions are definitely all very open to changing because I feel like I do need to learn more about disability culture and hear others’ opinions.

I don’t think that disability culture has a precise definition, and as Kupper mentioned it is “not a thing but a process” (4) that is ever evolving and might not look the same for everyone.  Though I can’t exactly define it, some things that came up in the text and instantly come to mind when I think about what disability culture means are inclusion, interdependency, love, empowerment of people with disabilities and the creation of art and resources.  

I feel that there are many different ways that disability culture can be expressed as well as so much diversity in the forms of disability that exist so it’s almost difficult to strictly say that “one” disability culture exists.  However, I do feel that “one” disability culture can and does exist- a powerful means of building disability community- and still acknowledges the differences in each individual’s experience of it (also intersectionality!).  

As far as who calls culture into being, I feel like it can be anyone who is a member of that community.  For example, in disability culture, I think any person with a disability can call culture into being.  I think that allies can help boost and potentially contribute but it isn’t their place to “call it into being” perhaps.