invalid [ in-vuh-lid ]

Noun or adjective

  1. an infirm or sickly person
  2. a person too sick or weak to care for themself
  3. being without foundation or force in fact, truth, or law
  4. logically inconsequent

culture [ kuhl-cher ]


  1. artificially cultivated bacteria or tissue cells
  2. a shared set of artifacts, practices and beliefs
  3. that which is excellent in the arts, manners, etc.
  4. the quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc.

About the Podcast


Turning the gaze back on the observer.

From journalism to literature to film, disability has long been a useful tool for lazy media makers to inject positive or negative emotion into an otherwise stale text. Looking for some tears? Add a disabled character! Craving some inspiration? Disabled character! Need to justify the villainous actions of an antagonist? You know it’s a disabled character.

The use of disability to win Oscars has been written about ad nauseam, but what about all the other films that represent disability? Invalid Culture is a podcast that explores films from the cultural margins where (often nondisabled) creators, freed from worries about awards and ticket sales, turn to disability to spice up their texts. Invalid Culture is a podcast that dives deep into the abyss of strange and confusing texts “about” disability. With a crip theory bent, we excavate unfiltered cultural constructions of disability, d/Deafness, madness and more.

Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise in Rain Man, 1988

Each film will be evaluated using 4 probing questions:

On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the least, how accurately does this film portray disability?

On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the most, how often did you laugh when humour was not intended?

On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the hardest, how difficult was it to get through this film?

On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the most, how many steps back has this film put disabled people?

The higher the score…the worse the movie



Is This Actually Art???


Regrets, I have a few


Crimes Have Been Committed


Jerry Lewis Seal of Approval

About Erika

Erika is an assistant professor of Disability Studies, interested in the material and working conditions of care work, applying disability studies in the health professions and anti-oppressive pedagogical approaches.

favourite film

Romeo + Juliet (1996)

looking forward to analyzing…

Monkey Shines (1988)

hated film

The Upside (2017)

Must read Text about disability 

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha’s Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice (2018)

About Jeff

Jeff is an associate  professor of Disability Studies, interested in accessibility policy/legislation, disability in popular culture, digital memes archeology, and cyber crip community building and activism.

Favourite Film

Ghostbusters (1984)

Looking forward to analyzing…

The More Beautiful For Having Been Broken (2019)

Hated Film

Me Before You (2016)

Must read text about disability

John Scalzi’s Lock In (2014).

About sarah

sarah is a proud cat owner, community activist and retired academic. i love building beloved community wherever i go – this includes encouraging allies (like you!) to join mad care movement work with radical, unapologetic love.

favourite film

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

looking forward to analyzing…

The worst movies Jeff can find…

hated film

Christmas Evil (1980)

Must read Text about disability 

Kazu Haga’s Healing Resistance (2020)