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?