Spoon Week is about promoting understanding of the experiences of students with disability, taking control of the discussion as people with disability, and starting conversations with the wider community.
The ‘spoon’ in Spoon Week comes from ‘spoon theory’, which is used by some people with disability to describe their experience when their disability presents in a reduced amount of energy available for productive tasks. Spoons are an intangible unit of measurement used to track how much energy a person has throughout a given day. Although the theory originated as a way to explain chronic illness, it can have a wide applicability.
It’s also useful when thinking about the ways in which institutions like the ANU can help or hinder the inclusion of students with disability. When the ANU fails to implement measures like disability awareness training, or create important documents like a Disability Action Plan, this impacts on the spoon counts of students with disability. This is why we need Spoon Week, because it’s not enough to be content with the status quo – we have to have conversations about how we can do better and take action.