From Recipes for Inclusive Education, Chapter 6, “Braises and Roasts”

Ingrid Tischer

Nature and her master THE LORD have blessed the Educator with ease in beginning any recipe for inclusion, ‘Step One of How to Cook a Disabled Child: Catch a Disabled child.’ Truly, the Infirm Child’s emfeeblement makes him an ideal choice for the inexperienced Educator new to his twin masters Efficiency and Economy.

When you have your specimen, consider your various cooking options as well as how many Normal Children you have to feed. Is the Infirm Child plump and well-larded? If this be the case, wrap the lad’s loin with the finest bacon and roast in a hot oven, a dish fit to serve at term’s end to celebrate the holiday.

Far from protesting, many an Infirm Child’s eyes shine with an Inner Light at mention of this most noble purpose their otherwise wasted bodies can serve. There are Disabled Children not as wholly selfish as their Disabled brethren who would demand survival, even education and employment, at the expense of their Normal brothers. But good it is to look upon the Infirm Child going cheerfully to the cook-pot to feed the strength of the Normal Child whose rude health is testament to his good character and his Creator’s Pleasure in him.

Do not scorn the restauranteur’s habit of presenting Monday’s least-loved dishes as Saturday’s “Specials.” Only you will glimpse the curious truth of calling what was patently rejected a name denoting fond regard.

It is well to resist any temptation to avail yourself of the Infirm Child’s mature counterparts that many a monger sets out near market’s close. These Disabled Adults make poor eating as a rule. Often tough and stringy, what sustenance they offer is bitter and tastes of bile and other vile humors.

As the Infirm Child is carried securely within the Normal Children’s innards, he will go far beyond where his withered limbs and ghastly countenance would have confined him, in that most detestable and costly of prison-houses, his own and tarnished flesh. Safely within his shining Brother, he will be seated in the classroom, play in the schoolyard, and finally, swing his feet carelessly as he sits inside the privy. All once beyond any hope of his reach but now gloriously attained by his inclusion in the school’s menu. At mere pennies per serving.

Rest well, Educator, in the knowledge that you have served Efficiency and Economy well, your first duty as a servant of the public purse.

Based in the Bay Area, Ingrid Tischer writes fiction, and disability culture and policy commentary. Her writing is a mix of the serious, the sardonic, and the sincere that uses personal essay, opinion, spoof, and parody forms to convey the emotional landscape of lifelong disability and the waxy bummer build-up that comes from ableism.


She is an unpublished writer beyond her own blog, Tales From the Crip. She presents much of her fiction as "crip lit," which she defines as having at least one main character who is both disabled and aware of their disability's political dimension.


She was a longtime member of San Francisco’s Writing Circles for Women (1993-2001), attended Flight of the Mind fiction writing workshops in 1997, 1998, and 2000 taught by the novelists Charlotte Watson Sherman, Lynne Sharon Schwartz, and Gish Jen, respectively. In 2002-2003, she completed a fiction mentoring year with the novelist Lewis Buzbee through San Antonio’s Gemini Ink. She worked privately with him from 2003-2007 and completed two drafts of a coming-of-middle-age novel currently titled "There’s No Cure for Gretchen Lowe."