Burrito Test

Burrito backlit by a full moon

A test used to find out if a particular facility is an institution. Used primarily by disability advocates.

If you can’t get up at 3 am and microwave yourself a burrito, it is one.

For clarification, the question is about being allowed to do this if you choose to do so, not about wheather or not this is something you’d want to do.

It’s about wheather you have the freedom to control when you eat and make other basic decisions about yourself and your actions that free human beings over the age of like 8 are generally considered to have as natural rights.

Most group homes don’t pass the burrito test.

Urban Dictionary: burrito test

The anti-psychiatric-abuse community has invented the “Burrito Test” – if a place won’t let you microwave a burrito without asking permission, it’s an institution. Doesn’t matter if the name is “Center For Flourishing” or whatever and the aides are social workers in street clothes instead of nurses in scrubs – if it doesn’t pass the Burrito Test, it’s an institution.

Book Review: The Cult Of Smart – by Scott Alexander

Burrito Test – Can determine whether or not a facility is an institution. States that if a person living in the facility is not able to get up in the middle of the night and make themself a burrito, or other food of their choice, if they are hungry, then the facility they are living in is an institution.

Glossary of Terms – autisak

The Burrito Test goes like this. Say you’re a person with a disability and for whatever reason, you need to live in a congregate setting. Now, people can call these congregate settings whatever they want. Group home, supported living, assisted living, whatever. The congregate setting might have a nice name, like “Center for Flourishing” or Spring Valley Hills Home or Independent Living Center of Anytown, USA (or Canada, or Mexico, or England, or wherever). But with any congregate setting, PWDs should be encouraged to ask this question:

If I felt like microwaving a burrito, or making myself one, or going out to get one, at any time, would this setting let me do so?

If the answer is “no,” you’re in an institution.

The Burrito Test (which could also be a Sub Sandwich Test or Hamburger Test or Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino Test), is pretty simple on its face. It’s based on a basic truth of adulthood. If an adult wants to get up at midnight and microwave a burrito, they should be able to do that, no questions asked. But, yup, you guessed it. When that adult has a disability, suddenly there’s a whole list of provisos and rules. And that’s if the institution, or the temporarily able-bodied person with an institutional mindset, even allows the person to make or eat the burrito!

A Burrito is Not A Crime Against Humanity – IndependenceChick’s Nest

Our people are to be freed by liberating them from unwanted institutionalization in nursing homes and, perhaps, other institutional settings and by delivering them to lives in the community if that is what they want. The people to be freed are at a minimum people with physical disabilities, and may include all institutionalized people with disabilities. Even without precise unanimity on what it means, though, free our people! is an effective clarifying mission statement and rallying cry for ADAPTers, and it seems clear that, just as the mission of Johnson & Johnson as it faced the Tylenol Murders crisis was to funnel wealth to shareholders, the mission of ADAPT … is to liberate disabled people from unwanted institutionalization and dismantle the system that gives rise to unwanted institutionalization in the first place.

Fīat Jūsticia Ruat Cælum (Let Justice Be Done, Though the Heavens Fall) | Cal’s Blog

CW: lyrics about ableism, forced drugging, institutionalization

They give you a white shirt with long sleeves
Tied around your back, you're treated like thieves
Drug you up because they're lazy
It's too much work to help a crazy

I'm not crazy! (Institution!)
You're the one that's crazy! (Institution!)
You're driving me crazy! (Institution!)
They stick me in an institution
Said it was the only solution
To give me the needed professional help
To protect from the enemy, myself

Institutionalized by Suicidal Tendencies

Further reading,

Published by Ryan Boren

#ActuallyAutistic retired technologist turned wannabe-sociologist. Equity literate education, respectfully connected parenting, passion-based learning, indie ed-tech, neurodiversity, social model of disability, design for real life, inclusion, open web, open source. he/they