Articles, Newsletters, Podcasts, and Video

A Poet’s Origins – I Was Made For This (Part 1)

By Reanna - One Inky Queer / 2022-05-19
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<img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-72023" class="wp-image-72023 size-medium" src="https://disabilitynewswire.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/20220519_122246_2-399×500-1.jpg" alt="A slim red and pink notebook on a wooden surface, with 'Poetry Notebook 1, Feb 2021' written on the cover"

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ASAN Statement on Cummings v. Premier Rehab Keller, P.L.L.C.

By Noor Pervez / 2022-05-18
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This statement is viewable as a PDF here

On April 28, the Supreme Court handed down an opinion in a case called Cummings v.

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How losing my hearing, temporarily, impacted my mental health and shocked me into caring for my ears!

By chroniccampaigner / 2022-05-13
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“Suddenly, I couldn’t hear. I started to panic as my partner tried to ask what was wrong, but I could barely hear him.”

Alt-text: Image of an egg wearing headphones. The loud noises

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Disability Garrison – Episode 11: Health Equity and Disparity with Andy Imparato

By Abby Burch / 2022-04-26
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Listen Now or on Your Favorite Podcast Platform

The Problem

Health equity is when everyone can achieve their full health potential. And there are no barriers for them to do so. But we have not achieved health equity. Communities of color, …

The post Disability Garrison – Episode 11: Health Equity and Disparity with Andy Imparato first appeared on GT Independence.

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Doing Your Thing With Disability: We Play Too

By T.Reid / 2022-04-13
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From all sorts of sports and activities to video games; people with disabilities find ways to not only play, but excel. In this latest episode [Accessibility Consultant Brandon Cole](http://BrandonCole dotnet/) joins me to talk about the various barriers, adaptations and finally, accessibility, being built into video games. We’ll hear from players like Orlando Johnson. Once […]

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Book Review: Unmasking Autism

By Ashley L. Peterson / 2022-04-06
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Unmasking Autism by Devon Price

Unmasking Autism by Dr. Devon Price explores masked autism, which the author describes as any presentation of autism that isn’t consistent with stereotypes or the standard idea of autism in most diagnostic tools, as well as “any Autistic person whose suffering wasn’t taken seriously for reasons of class, race, gender, age, lack of access to health care, or the presence of other conditions.” The author is a transgender autistic person and a social psychologist.

The author writes that he firmly supports self-determination (a term he prefers to self-diagnosis), adding that “self-definition is a means of reclaiming our power from the medical establishment.” I liked this, especially given how much of a production it is for adults to get an autism assessment. He capitalizes Autistic when referring to the cultural group, in the same way that Deaf is capitalized to refer to a cultural community.

The author explains some of the differences between autistic and neurotypical brains. He writes about the “typical” idea of autism and how many people don’t fit that stereotype (including, for example, extraverted autistics). He also explores the female autism stereotype, which isn’t actually limited to females at all, as well as the experiences of transgender, nonbinary, black, and brown autistic people. There’s a discussion about conditions that commonly co-occur with autism and conditions that autistic people are frequently misdiagnosed with, like autistic females being misdiagnosed with cluster B personality disorders like borderline PD.

The book explores why people mask, how people learn what to mask, and what kinds of masking strategies people may use. Masking is described as “a complex system of behaviors, performances, and even life decisions. It follows then that unmasking Autism goes a lot further than just lowering our inhibitions. It means rethinking the entire shape of our lives.” The author likens being a masked autistic person to being in the closet about being gay or transgender. The chapter devoted to the costs of masking includes a discussion of common problematic coping strategies people may use to manage in a world that’s not designed for them, such as alcohol/drug abuse, disordered eating, dissociation, and fawning.

While the first half of the book looks at the masks that autistic people wear, the second half is devoted to how to unmask and build an autistic life and autistic relationships. The author writes, “Refusing to perform neurotypicality is a revolutionary act of disability justice. It’s also a radical act of self-love.” There’s a discussion of things to consider with regards to self-disclosure, and the author recommends various online self-advocacy spaces.

The book talks about the importance of special interests in well-being, and identifies geeky subcultures and fandoms as spaces that tend to draw a lot of neurodivergent people. Ideas are provided for divergent-friendly design to accommodate people’s sensory sensitivities.

The author offers ideas for creating a more neurodiverse-friendly world, including expanding legal protections for disabled people, broadening cultural norms, expanded public and professional education on neurodiversity, and universal health care and basic income. He writes, “By reworking society to make it more flexible and accommodating of difference, we can improve the mental and physical health of all people. In this way, unmasking is a political goal.” He also points out the harm done to autistic people by applied behavioural analysis (ABA), an approach that attempts to suppress autistic behaviours like stimming.

The book explores the difference between a medical and social model of disability, with the latter identifying society as the source of the problem rather than the individual with the disability. “A world that allows all Autistics to safely unmask is a world where anyone with strange interests, passionate emotions, environmental sensitivities, social quirks, or other differences is still seen as worthy and whole.”

I found this book to be really effective at creating a nuanced picture of autism. I think it would make a really interesting read both for autistic people and for friends/family members of autistics. I liked that it was written by someone who is actually autistic, and proud to be autistic, at that. The book includes lots of practical tips to support autistic folks in functioning in a world that wasn’t designed for them. I suspect that readers who are somewhat reticent about unmasking will feel better about doing so after reading this book. Overall, I was really impressed.

Unmasking Autism is available on Amazon (affiliate link). You can find the author on Medium.

I received a reviewer copy from the publisher through Netgalley.

You can find my other reviews on the MH@H book review index or on Goodreads.

The post Book Review: Unmasking Autism appeared first on Mental Health @ Home.

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Disability Garrison – Episode 10: Barriers to Self-Determination with Judy Mark

By Abby Burch / 2022-03-29
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Listen Now or on Your Favorite Podcast Platform

The Problem

Self-Determination is a model of care that empowers a person to be involved in their own life decisions. It is also known as self-direction. This is quite different from nursing homes …

The post Disability Garrison – Episode 10: Barriers to Self-Determination with Judy Mark first appeared on GT Independence.

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Doing Your Thing With Disability: Adriana Mallozzi – Not Impossible

By T.Reid / 2022-03-23
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Ever since her first experience with Technology, Adriana Mallozzi knew it was the key to her independence. Empathy along with advocacy and leadership skills are the right components qualifying her to start Puffin Innovations. An Assistive Technology company – creating hands free access to consumer electronics for individuals with limited mobility in their upper extremities. […]

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Five Ways to Accommodate Sighties in the Workplace

By Adelia / 2022-03-14
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Disabled managers everywhere may be neglecting key needs of their abled workers or may not understand certain requests. The list below comes from sighted accommodations expert Esther Lemon. It provides some tips for blind workers in particular to better accommodate their sighted colleagues.

  1. Design matters. If something isn’t colored brightly, aligned perfectly or complemented with pictures, sighted people will not read it. It may seem strange that data analytics reports must include pictures, but this is integral to the visual information communication process.
  2. Eye contact over ear contact. Eye contact is reportedly a form of nonverbal communication in which two sighted people look at one another’s pupils and feel a magical connection. Even in crowded or loud situations, avoid turning your ear to the person. While that may actually make listening easier, your sighted colleague will feel as though you are not listening. So you should aim to point your own eyes in the direction of your employee’s face, even if it means you can’t hear anymore.
  3. Add wayfinding signage. For the blind, directions like “walk in the direction of the downward sloping floor” and “second door on the right” make for a good wayfinding experience. However, the sighted have been trained to look for visual signs with giant lettering that signifies where things are, preferably with pointing arrows to really make things clear. This goes for elevator buttons as well: The sighted are not used to counting to the third button on the left to get to the right floor. Make sure your office space is clearly visually marked at every opportunity, or they will get lost.
  4. Turn on the lights. You know this.
  5. Give extra time for book club. With many blind screen reader users used to listening to text-to-speech at upwards of 500 words per minute, you may lose touch with the average sighted person’s reading speed and ability. You might be able to listen in the shower, on a walk or while cooking dinner, but many sighted people need complete focus to read a novel. Give extra time between book club meetings for your sighted peers.

“It’s important to remember that all human beings accommodate the environment — think plumbing, heating, clothing,” said Lemon. “And we shouldn’t leave the abled behind just because they are completely oblivious.”

The post Five Ways to Accommodate Sighties in the Workplace appeared first on The Squeaky Wheel.

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Imagining a World Without Ableism

By Kevin Schaefer / 2022-03-08
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A friend and I were sitting in a dimly lit movie theater a few years ago when two guys in their 20s approached me. I

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