Episode 1 | Internalized Ableism

In the inaugural episode of the Crutches And Spice Podcast, Imani talks about Internalized ableism and ways to combat it.

Find a transcript of this episode here:


And, make sure to support this podcast here:S1E1 Transcript Internalized Ableism



  1. Thank you so much Imani, this is a really wonderful piece. As a kid who grew up wearing a brace on my leg that image of Forest Gump running and his braces fell off had such impact on my view of myself. I only heard the term ‘internalized ablism’ earlier this year and it stopped me right where I was and I immediately started googling. One of the first articles I came across was your “7 Lying Thoughts That Prove Internalized Ableism is Real” and I’ve been a fan ever since. So it’s really cool your podcast started here. Looking forward to hearing more!

    1. You guys really help each other ,its so good to see this….btw all are pros here , and I’m still a budding blogger…. quite impressive content dude

  2. Hey there sibling,
    sky here,
    Wadó (thank you)
    Very delighted to hear your confirming words, encouragement and clarifications.

    For me on a personal level, I’ve always had to ask where do I pass, the first oppression that was introduced to me was through racism. The internal racism recording or message I got “that there’s nothing wrong with you, sticks and stones will break bones but words will never hurt you, exemplifications that were offered as a thing I must tolerate and have lower expectations people doing the right thing.
    In other words, I was to settle and take things as a grain of salt. I don’t think self-empowerment comes easily for anyone.
    That spilled over as a thing of “just deal with it” it’s not that bad. Later in life starting around age 24, I was hearing things suggesting I’m hypochondriac, manic depressive, or somehow its my fault to just get over it and push on.
    Well into my 40s I would hear things like we can’t confirm that because that was in your childhood. I could not get people to understand that the childhood abuse was beginning to show its long-term effects physically mentally emotionally spiritually and the isolation was a huge factor. Yes I got help in school when it came to reading and writing but I never got over dyslexia, I never got over the seizures that had been mistaken for years. I never got past the limitations that come over my body. I never got past the fatigue and the exhaustion. I have lived with it but I have no idea how successful I might be, except today my success is I’m alive. I have remained against all the odds. I have survived and endure all the wrongs and it’s been solely up to me to make it right. I am new to the disabled community but I’m not new to disabilities. I think your words will break the silence for a lot of folks and that in itself is appreciative.
    thank you.

    My hidden disability as a survivor of shaking baby syndrome (TBI), fetal alcohol (spectrum) dyslexia
    Seizure disorder
    Late deafness.
    Kept my abuser safe and no one and I mean no one should live with that type of silence.

    1. 🙏🏽❤️💐

      Much love and wishes foir your happiness and wellbeing.

      I have to wonder, reading your experience and others and aware of my own, whether the NT social code that has them regarding the deeply human struggles in most lives as something that must be kept quiet and that we must suck it up or deal with it everyone everyone has to, is at the core of the conditions that lead to us cultivating that internalized ableism.

      All the best to us all for finding our strongest voice and for our wellbeing.

  3. I never heard the term ‘internalized ablism’ before. But as I read on, you’ve captured so succinctly this constant struggle that I fight with every day. A lot of times I’ve just given up and often won’t leave the house because I just don’t function properly anymore. I have to think on this. I find wisdom for me in this piece.

  4. Hi Imani,
    I can really relate to the podcast and thank you for it.
    As a black woman and disabled myself I find it difficult to talk about ablism within my ethiopian community. It makes me feel isolated and silenced that I can’t point out the oppression. It’s like I will ‘betray’ my community if I’ll dare to speak at them other than victims of racism. I would like to hear your opinion

  5. Thank you so much! I’m an autistic writer filmmaker who had to battle with my own internal ableism on top of navigating an environment seemingly resisting my efforts to build a career. I would love to interview you about
    my doc abt neurodiversity. I couldn’t find your contact info so sorry for laying it on you here.

    That point about ramps seen as extra by NTs I’ve experienced in my BA program. I cannot make heads or tails of the ;instructions and study material because i do not read. At first i battled with the idea that giving me time to complete assignments was an unfair advantage.

    So I told them if they are truly concerned about an unfair advantage, then have the other students wear lenses that obscure what they are looking at so they have to struggle to find the few words that together reveal meaning. You want it fair? Make suer they can’t read and often get confused and lost.

    Which all, in my not so humbler autistic opinion proves that neurodivergent people must be in positions of policy or any that have an impact on our lives.

    michelleespinosa.com (my background and contact info)

    All the best to you for continued success and longevity! I love you! I think you are great! I hope lots of young women like us get to see your blog and videos and articles.

    Michelle Espinosa

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