Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cripple Quotient

There are two kinds of cripples: There are those whose degree of crippledness is quantifiable and then there are all the rest of us.

They best example of quantifiable cripples are those we used to refer to with a word that begins with the letter “r." It is no longer acceptable to use that word under any circumstances, except possibly when referring to materials that are almost, but not completely, fireproof. This group of people is now called ID, which stands for intellectually disabled. That doesn’t sound a whole lot better than “r” but that’s the best we’ve got for now.

Anyway, ID people are very quantifiable. We give them a test to determine their Intelligence Quotient. And then we give them a number which tells everyone exactly how ID each ID person is. This comes in very handy in many ways, especially in helping state governments determine which ID people should qualify to receive certain state services. For instance, the state of Florida uses IQ scores to decide which ID people who commit murder are eligible to be executed by lethal injection. If your IQ is above 70, you’re toast. Currently, in the case of Hall v. Florida, the state is fighting in the U.S. Supreme Court for its right to execute a convicted murderer with an IQ of 71.

So you see, by being so very quantifiable, ID people make it easier for the rest of us to not judge them based on blanket assumptions of who they are. It helps us understand that not all ID people are the same. And isn’t that what all cripples want? We want to be judged not by perceptions about our crippling conditions but by our individual competencies and aptitudes.

The quickest way to facilitate that level of understanding is to quantify it, to create a scale that gives our level of physical crippledness a numeric value. This would give those who are baffled by us a scorecard, if you will, with which to tell us apart. Like for instance, take me. Suppose someone sees me and they don’t know what the hell to make of me. They can see I’m in a wheelchair, so should they speak loud when they talk to me? Or should they speak to me at all? Should they only address the walking person with me, aka my nurse?

A lot of this confusion could be alleviated if there was a standardized physical incompetency test like the IQ test through which the currently unquantifiable crippledness of cripples like me could be quantified. This would determine our Cripple Quotient or CQ. Then, by knowing my CQ score, even a complete stranger would have a much better idea of what I can and can’t do and where I fall on the vast cripple spectrum. Never again will they have to ask themselves questions like, “I wonder if he can have sex?”Having sex would be part of every adult CQ exam and our performance in this area would factor heavily into the calculation of our CQ score.

Now I know you’re asking what good having a CQ score would be if no one else knows what it is. Well you see, when a cripple obtains a CQ score they would then have to wear a football jersey at all times and the number on that jersey is their CQ score.

Once we figure out how to quantify all cripples, uncrippled people won’t be nearly so intimidated by the task of figuring out what we’re all about. They won’t always have to get to know us the old fashioned way, by hanging out with us and talking to us and having sex with us. Who’s got time for that?


  1. There is one other acceptable use of that 'r' word: when the wheels of your airplane reunite with the pavement, you may retard your throttles.

    When it comes to the number on my uniform, I want it to be the one number that has not been used by the New York Yankees and is not permanently installed on the wall: 69. Derek Jeter may be the last person ever to wear number 2, but many others have worn that number since there were uniform numbers. (When they were first used, they reflected who was where in the batting order. Babe Ruth batted third and Lou Gehrig batted fourth, hence the numbers that they will forever be associated with.) I want a number that has not been used before. 69!

  2. Unfortunately, Smart Ass and Mike, using IQ tests as a way of grouping those who are intellectually disabled is not always so useful. If you don't communicate well -- or don't see any value in the test, the scores will be low - low - low. An easier way to consider individuals with intellectual disabilities is to assess their adaptive behaviors -- or ask the question -- what can that person do -- with out supports and with supports.

    As for the 69, I would be happy to give it to you.... but wait ----- that doesn't sound quite right.....

  3. And then there's the lot of us with DD (that's for development disability, not bra size) without ID, most of us whose IQ scores have been deemed invalid, because of too much variation between one portion of the test and another portion. I score a lot of standard deviations below the mean on one section of the IQ test, and several standard deviations above the mean on another section.

  4. Interestingly, no where in the manual for the WISC or WAIS IV will you find any reference to IQ scores being invalid due to variance in sunbtest or index scores. This is a bit of psy-lore that has built up over the years. Current best practice is to use the FSIQ regardless of variation/discrepency when the score is required for eleigibility decision making (or t-shirts)"