Disability simulations should be left in the 90s


I tend to feel that the idea that minority groups are not costumes applies to us, too.  Learning about the disabled experience, which is actually a wide variety of experience because disability is so many different things, is easy.  A lot of us are willing to talk about it.  Read some things we wrote.  Ask anyone who seems genuinely okay with satisfying your curiosity.  However awesome we seem, please resist the urge to pretend to be us.

Camera: SONY DSC-W560     Aperture: f/8     Exposure: 1/80th     Focal Length: 4mm
Camera: SONY DSC-W560     Aperture: f/3.5     Exposure: 1/400th     Focal Length: 7mm


Image description: The first photo shows me (a white-passing, femme young adult person) sitting in a wheelchair, holding one sign in my hands and with one leaning against my legs. The first sign says, “Got questions? Autistic adults are the best resource of parents of autistic kids. Autisticadcovacy.org”. The second sign says, “Autistic rights are human rights #lovenotfear”.

The second photo shows myself in my wheelchair with my signs and three other femme people who are all also holding signs. The visible signs are rainbow coloured and say “Love not fear”, “Think posAUtive”, “Autism Speaks does not speak for me!”, and “Autism is Awesome”. There is a small table behind us with a sign that says “free earplugs”, a box of earplugs, and ASAN pamphlets on top.

Pictures from Vancouver ASAN’s protest at the Autism Speaks walk this morning. I made those two signs I’m holding, Alanna made the rest of the signs, and Marvin took these photos. A few more people ended up coming so there were seven of us there (and Marvin). I think we all did good work today!

Now I’m going to go lie down and never get up.



Do you think it’s okay to have friends that you disagree with about political issues? I have a close friend that’s much more conservative than me; most of the time we avoid talking about politics, but he listens respectfully when I call him out on something, and even though I’m gay, Jewish, and non-gender conforming I feel very safe around him. Sometimes, though, I feel like I shouldn’t be friends with him, because I would be supporting his problematic views. Thoughts?
realsocialskills said:
Yes, It’s absolutely ok to be friends with people you disagree with about important things.
The only alternative would be to be friends only with perfect people. Which isn’t a realistic option. Everyone is wrong about something important, and it’s not necessary to demand perfection as a precondition for legitimate friendship.
You get to decide what’s dealbreaking for you and what isn’t. You’ve decided that your friend’s views aren’t dealbreaking for you. That’s a decision you get to make; no one else gets to decide that for you.
You’re not supporting his views by being his friend. You’re supporting the idea that, despite his views, you like him, and that he is worthy of your friendship. That is not the same thing. 
Other people also get to decide what’s dealbreaking for them and what isn’t, and it’s important to respect that. (Eg: It’s probably not a good idea to invite this guy to come along to something like Nehirim where most people there are there specifically to be in a space that has a positive outlook on gay people and Jews.)
It’s also important not to pressure friends for whom some aspects of his worldview are dealbreaking to be like “he’s a great guy, really! You should hang out with us some time!”.
It’s also not ok to lecture them on the virtues of tolerance and imply that there’s something wrong with them considering his views dealbreaking. They get to decide they don’t want to be around people with certain views. You have every right to be his friend; they have every right not to.
tl;dr It’s ok to be friends with people who are wrong about important things. It’s ok to decide what’s dealbreaking for you and what isn’t. So do other people. Don’t pressure people to spend time around your friends whose views are dealbreaking for them.



Hong Kong’s unprecedented protests & police crackdown, explained
September 29, 2014

Protest marches and vigils are fairly common in Hong Kong, but what began on Friday and escalated dramatically on Sunday is unprecedented. Mass acts of civil disobedience were met by a shocking and swift police response, which has led to clashes in the streets and popular outrage so great that analysts can only guess at what will happen next.

What’s going on in Hong Kong right now is a very big deal, and for reasons that go way beyond just this weekend’s protests. Hong Kong’s citizens are protesting to keep their promised democratic rights, which they worry — with good reason — could be taken away by the central Chinese government in Beijing. This moment is a sort of standoff between Hong Kong and China over the city’s future, a confrontation that they have been building toward for almost 20 years.

On Wednesday, student groups led peaceful marches to protest China’s new plan for Hong Kong’s 2017 election, which looked like China reneging on its promise to grant the autonomous region full democracy (see the next section for what that plan was such a big deal). Protest marches are pretty common in Hong Kong so it didn’t seem so unusual at first.

Things started escalating on Friday. Members of a protest group called Occupy Central (Central is the name of Hong Kong’s downtown district) had planned to launch a “civil disobedience” campaign on October 1, a national holiday celebrating communist China’s founding. But as the already-ongoing protesters escalated they decided to go for it now. On Friday, protesters peacefully occupied the forecourt (a courtyard-style open area in front of an office building) of Hong Kong’s city government headquarters along with other downtown areas.

The really important thing is what happened next: Hong Kong’s police cracked down with surprising force, fighting in the streets with protesters and eventually emerging with guns that, while likely filled with rubber bullets, look awfully militaristic. In response, outraged Hong Kong residents flooded into the streets to join the protesters, and on Sunday police blanketed Central with tear gas, which has been seen as a shocking and outrageous escalation. The Chinese central government issued a statement endorsing the police actions, as did Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing chief executive, a tacit signal that Beijing wishes for the protests to be cleared.

You have to remember that this is Hong Kong: an affluent and orderly place that prides itself on its civility and its freedom. Hong Kongers have a bit of a superiority complex when it comes to China, and see themselves as beyond the mainland’s authoritarianism and disorder. But there is also deep, deep anxiety that this could change, that Hong Kong could lose its special status, and this week’s events have hit on those anxieties to their core.

This began in 1997, when the United Kingdom handed over Hong Kong, one of its last imperial possessions, to the Chinese government. Hong Kong had spent over 150 years under British rule; it had become a fabulously wealthy center of commerce and had enjoyed, while not full democracy, far more freedom and democracy than the rest of China. So, as part of the handover, the Chinese government in Beijing promised to let Hong Kong keep its special rights and its autonomy — a deal known as “one country, two systems.”

A big part of that deal was China’s promise that, in 2017, Hong Kong’s citizens would be allowed to democratically elect their top leader for the first time ever. That leader, known as the Hong Kong chief executive, is currently appointed by a pro-Beijing committee. In 2007, the Chinese government reaffirmed its promise to give Hong Kong this right in 2017, which in Hong Kong is referred to as universal suffrage — a sign of how much value people assign to it.

But there have been disturbing signs throughout this year that the central Chinese government might renege on its promise. In July, the Chinese government issued a “white paper” stating that it has “comprehensive jurisdiction” over Hong Kong and that “the high degree of autonomy of [Hong Kong] is not an inherent power, but one that comes solely from the authorization by the central leadership.” It sounded to many like a warning from Beijing that it could dilute or outright revoke Hong Kong’s freedoms, and tens of thousands of Hong Kong’s citizens marched in protest.

Then, in August, Beijing announced its plan for Hong Kong’s 2017 elections. While citizens would be allowed to vote for the chief executive, the candidates for the election would have to be approved by a special committee just like the pro-Beijing committee that currently appoints the chief executive. This lets Beijing hand-pick candidates for the job, which is anti-democratic in itself, but also feels to many in Hong Kong like a first step toward eroding their promised democratic rights.

Full article
Photo 1, 2, 3


Philip Larkin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



@iamthethunder: Just stumbled across this guy in my Textual Analysis textbook. I thought you might appreciate knowing of his existence.

Revised because I had the wrong historical figure.  I had a book of his once that someone gave to me.  It was really nice.  I may need to get it again sometime.  It vanished in one of the moves.  Oddly, there was a poet of exactly the same name in North Carolina.  I liked his work a little less, but it was alright.

Source icryyoumercy

Disability Community Letter to CMS re: Behavioral Health Services and Olmstead | Autistic Self Advocacy Network


This is about autism services in the community instead of medical settings.  Take a look.


feeling anxious? stressed? need a distraction?


Source merlln

A Right to Representation



This buzzfeed article on “Parenthood” and autism (what sparked my brain into logging out of my other Tumblr and back into this one to write this post) uses really problematic language, like ‘battling’ autism. Most Autistic people I know, including myself, don’t battle against it- we accept, embrace, and celebrate our neurotypes. Sometimes it is not a picnic, but no one’s life is a picnic, and we don’t have to like every aspect of our disability in order to embrace it and be proud.

It quotes no actually Autistic people and uses a quote from Autism Speaks, an organization that most Autistic people stand against for its propagation of myths such as Autistic people are broken, diseased, require normalization through methods such as ABA, and need a cure. It also uses person-first language (“with autism”) rather than identity-first language (“Autistic”).

I may be rehashing what people have said over and over again in numerous posts about representation in popular culture and about including our voices in articles and policies written about us. In no way am I, however, beating a dead horse. If I was beating a dead horse, there would be ideal representation, inclusion, and more listening to us (and even then, it might not be a dead horse because there would still be people trying to drag us back down).

There’s the thing where they write articles on us without talking to us. People gladly assume we do not like being disabled, or that we cannot communicate about being disabled. Sometimes, perhaps, they do know, and just decide to talk for us anyway. We deserve to be included; we have thoughts. Traditional manners of communication may not work for us, but we still have opinions. We all have the right to be a self-advocate and be heard.

Then there are films by disabled people about disability, but people seem to jump for the sensationalized, dramatized, and either tragic or magically-cured stories. This is why, for instance, the Kansas City chapter of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network created a petition for Netflix to include films about disability and chronic illness by actually disabled and chronically ill creators. They compiled a list of films by disabled and/or chronically ill creators here.

We shouldn’t have to make petitions about better representation, but we do, unfortunately. A lot of showrunners will deny their character is even Autistic because the character either “functions too well,” or they didn’t mean to write the character that way, or they don’t want the stigma of having an autistic character on the show. It’s often a combination of them. Disability in general also doesn’t fare so well. Disabled characters are often played by able-bodied actors, which leaves them able to ‘stand up’ or go off at the end of the show or film. Often we’re depicted as either violent or savant. Often we get cured, get killed, or die in some fashion.

These depictions lend themselves to stigma in multiple ways. People can be afraid of us because we’re not making eye contact or doing “strange” hand gestures or pacing. People expect us to be savants when most of us are not – giving the idea that we’re only worth something if we have some miraculous skill someplace “despite” the disability. Cures imply we need them. Our deaths imply that death is a fate kinder than disability.

This is not just an issue that affects disability; it is intersectional and should be treated as such by all marginalized groups. We are one of a marginalized people and culture. Queer people, trans people, PoC, women, religious minorities and other groups also have a lot to work for in the field of representation. We should just make a collaborative series of films between disabled people, trans people, queer people, women, PoC, and as many religious minority groups as possible, and other groups too… because we all have a right to representation.

Along with calling out those who get it wrong, we also need to make a point of commending anyone who gets it right, signal-boosting their work, helping however we can, and making things ourselves.  Promising work premieres at things like the Sprout Film Festival every year, but media featuring disabled people rarely shows up outside of disability circles.  Part of the problem is that the mainstream media is concerned about the profitability of projects that center women and minorities.  Creating buzz, helping these kinds of stories prove themselves as things that can capture an audience and make money, will not fix everything, but it might help.

Source k-pagination