Some things I’ve read this week that I think are worth sharing.
When I ask high school students what they’d like to learn how to make if they knew how to hardware hack or code, they say things like, “Maybe a social app.” “Maybe some kind of a website.” But you get very different answers if you ask them, “What household objects would you enchant if you were in a Hogwart’s charm class?”
If Chris is a hero merely for hiring someone with a disability it lets all of us other “non-hero humans” off the hook. It also implies that there is something inherently wrong with Sam that it took a hero to hire him in the first place.
But this was only the first of numerous – too many to count – anecdotes about autistic children which described them repeatedly as odd, strange, violent, disconnected, destructive, dangerous, difficult to handle, their behaviors meaningless, their interests obsessive. As isolated, unspeaking, severe, uncooperative, and having illogical anxiety. They describe autistic children as vanishing, having broken minds, as screamers, runners, and head bangers. These are the words that Donvan and Zucker use to perpetuate a tragedy narrative that is meant to justify every horrible thing that will be done to these children by parents and professionals.
One of the most sweeping arguments used to silence disabled activists in the debate was the argument that “the discussion was about the environment, not disability”. The thing is you can only have one without the other if you have somehow managed to exclude disabled people from the human race.
This debate has never been about sacrificing the environment for the sake of disabled people but asking to be considered as part of the solution.
Lastly, a book I’ve been looking forward to, On The Edge of Gone, came out last week… but I still haven’t started it.