People do not only make evil choices when they are abused, in emotional crisis, or lacking resources. And people also live through unimaginably hard things and still actively make choices, in accordance with their beliefs and values, about what they will and won’t do to other people.



You realise […] that your Mom, all those years ago, was wrong.

Even if you leave aside your own experience, your own hunger for a life, and even if you accept that you represent the greatest mistake of her life,

you realise that her mistake

consisted not in failing to embrace your death, but in failing to free you from her insistence that life has to follow a specific path to be worth living, and to set you free to explore the possibility of your life.

She couldn’t have given you everything you needed or much of what you wanted. She didn’t have it to give.

But the insistence that if your life didn’t fit a certain pattern, it was not worth enduring … she could have chosen not to give you that.

Montgomery Cal




I hate this idea that it “takes a special person to work with special people”

It’s a self fulfilling prophesy

And it’s a deadly one

Because the unspoken idea here is that people with disabilities don’t deserve interaction, patience or decency from “normal people” […]

Meredith K Ultra


I don’t trust most campaigns for awareness of caregiver stress and burnout.

I’m not denying that those things are real.

But they’ve become so ingrained in public consciousness, that the instant a crime against a disabled person makes the news, all you hear is “It’s so hard to take care of That Kind Of Person, you really can’t blame them.”

Coupled with a lack of focusing ever on the fact that disabled people get burned out from having to put up with caregivers all the time whether we feel like it or not, the usual ways people discuss these things start seeming one-sided and scary.

Contrary to what most people believe, caregivers are not selfless, self-sacrificing saints who never do us any harm, yet shoulder a great burden that leads to burnout, which excuses anything they might do wrong. That’s not even true of the best ones.

Caregivers are human beings. Human beings do a lot of bad things to each other. Especially people they have power over. Caregivers have that power. And it is not wrong to talk about it, to point it out, and to say that what some of them do is very wrong and destructive, and not excused by burnout or stress.

Any discussion of caregiver burnout also has to acknowledge the other end, the end nobody talks about. Which is that disabled people get burned out on our caregivers. But that we have no choice but to accept care every day. We can’t take a break without danger to ourselves.

Mel Baggs




Violence protects us from our violent selves: this is where the rhetoric lies.

Melanie Yergeau


People do a lot of brutal things to people with disabilities […]

We identify, as a culture, as having got past that point.

In practice, whenever people do brutal things to someone with a disability, it will be called the last resort.

This is an empty claim. Everyone who has ever used harmful reinforcers and brutal punishments has claimed that they are only used when they are necessary.

Calling something ‘the last resort’ means “it’s that person’s fault I’m doing this; I could not possibly do otherwise.”

Ruti Regan