"Being a full-time non-ambulatory powered wheelchair user with Cerebral Palsy has made me acutely aware of, and grateful for, the importance of the Social Model, both historically and currently. Particularly living as a performer, playwright and creative practitioner based in London, where I also grew up, and where there are many venues and spaces I’m unable to access at all, never mind work or rehearse in. Especially in the case of fringe theatre


That said, I’m now an adult who has lived with chronic pain since my teens. This pain results from the nature of my impairment – particularly its physical and neurological effects. Whilst there are some significant ways that the Social Model can help with this (such as through the creation of Access Riders outlining access needs, and by promoting changes in working practices or conditions), I feel it doesn’t address everything about my experience that I would wish. Consequently, I’m now more comfortable with models like Alison Kafer’s (2013) Political/Relational Model, which I feel more explicitly and specifically acknowledges the often complex combination of barriers that arises from our interactions with our bodies and minds as well as society."

Jessi Parrott

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