Pandemic Possibilities in Crip Time: Disrupting Social Work Field Education


  • Kaia M Arrow Ryerson University
  • Zachary Sera Grant York University



crip time, disability justice, professionalism, queering, bodyminds


COVID-19 allows for new possibilities of entry into social work education by reconceptualizing professional white time. Prior to the pandemic, students were often required to engage in learning at prescribed times, or white time. As a result of digital classroom learning and field practicums, COVID-19 has allowed for a queering of previously restrictive notions of time. Kafer (2013) called this flexible approach to time and its resultant expectations crip time. Building on Kafer’s crip time, which centres disabled bodyminds above normative structures of time, we suggest that remote placement offers social work education an opportunity to explore new and radical approaches to recentring learning and justice within field practicums. Approaching student practicums from a disability-justice perspective, we argue, allows for more accessibility while challenging notions of professionalism and traditional student–supervisor dichotomies. Weaving together story and theory, we share the tensions elicited by applying crip time and critical approaches to professionalism within our research-based social work practicum. We share our experiences and offer a queered lens through which the social work practicum can be re-envisioned as a site of radical social work values, including disability justice.

Author Biographies

Kaia M Arrow, Ryerson University

Kaia M. Arrow (she/her) recently completed her Bachelor of Social Work. In her writing about the biopolitics of health and chronic illness, she brings together structural understandings of power with an anti-colonial, anti-capitalist, and body-neutral approach. Kaia is a Mad, sick and disabled, queer, Filipina settler.

Zachary Sera Grant, York University

Zachary Sera Grant (they/them) is a PhD student in the faculty of Social Work at York University. Zac’s research focuses on equitable transgender health care and the experiences of trans individuals with “eating disorders.” Zac has been working within the field of social work for the last 13 years. Zac’s work is informed by decolonial and Mad studies, person-centred healing, and Queer and feminist theory.