New Episode of Cripz — Harry Potter

Another fresh offering over at Cripz: A Webcomic, this week featuring a parody of the recently released movie, Harry Potter. I have to admit, I was never a real fan of the Harry Potter series, struggling to make it through the first 3 books before ditching them to re-read Lord of the Rings. Having said that, I understand why people love them so much and the movies are definitely well done and, above all, entertaining.

While the series is, of course, based in fantasy, I’ve always been left wondering where all the disabled wizards are? None of Harry’s classmates have physical disabilities and, aside from perhaps Luna, don’t appear to have social or intellectual limitations either. I guess it’s for the best though, considering all those stairways at Hogwarts. This week’s comic is really about that, the lack of access in schools, because it’s not a problem that just affects the fantasy world of Harry Potter. Right now in Ontario, there are tons of schools that don’t provide access for students with disabilities and school boards that relegate all students with disabilities, regardless of their intellectual abilities, to Developmental Learning Classes.

We need to do better and one of the easiest ways we can help the disabled population right now is by empowering our youth to get educated. Now is the time to make education accessible to everyone!

By Jeffrey Preston

Born with a rare neuromuscular myopathy, Jeff has spent his life dedicated to advocating for himself and others with disabilities. With a PhD in Media Studies from Western University, Jeff's research focuses on the representation of disability in popular and digital culture. Jeff is currently an Assistant Professor of Disability Studies at King's University College @ Western University in London, ON.

2 replies on “New Episode of Cripz — Harry Potter”

Great point about Hogwarts!  I take two messages from that (there are no disabled students at Hogwarts):

1. These are wizards and witches we’re talking about.  This means they have magic – magic to fix things.  Unlike the real world, wizards could make quick fixes and voila! No disability, no problems.  There’s no magic cures in the real world.

2.  That being said, the Harry Potter world has many things that magic cannot fix:  Death, and some curses and spells (such as the unforgiveable curses).  There is a hospital for witches and wizards who are essentially unable to be in society anymore because they have been badly cursed and considered “insane” (e.g. Neville’s parents).  It’s just like the old days when disability was locked behind doors. Also, there are wizards and witches who end up giving birth to ‘non-magical’ children, who are not allowed to attend wizarding school (Squibs) and are probably treated as lesser beings because they are not magical.  Or other children who have difficulty honing their magical powers, and because they are “magically disabled” (mental moreso than physical, I think) some of them are hidden away to protect others-you don’t want someone to accidentally hurt other people due to uncontrollable magic-and treated as though they don’t exist (e.g. Dumbledore’s sister).

So then I guess that settles it…people with “disabilities” exist in the wizarding world, but society shuns them.

I think you’re dead on with the Squibs. A few friends of mine actually mentioned them and encouraged me to read the books if only to learn about them (as they’re largely ignored in the movies). I wonder if anyone has done a disability analysis of Harry Potter? Perhaps something to do in the future 😀