neurodiversity & disability

a lot of times disability pride gets watered down into this happy-go-lucky accepting who you are/gaining self esteem bit. though self-acceptance is so important, nondisabled people understanding disability pride in this way disregards the power of disability pride and critiques of ableism. disability itself redefines normal, redefines what is considered dependence, and if included in social justice analyses, can be extremely useful in understanding how the world works. living and practicing disability pride is so much bigger than self acceptance.

i credit a lot of what i know about the revolutionary nature of disability to the frameworks utilized by the reproductive justice movement, queer liberation movement, and the autistic self advocacy movement. in the same way understanding heteronormativity helps me understand institutions, gender, and the importance of queer liberation for society in general, neurodiversity has taken my understanding of disability to a new level. this is why i am so energized by work autistic self advocates and advocates of neurodiversity are doing— the potential for transformation is endless. truly a new frontier.

on that note, the canadian broadcasting company aired a documentary this week on neurodiversity the autistic self advocacy movement that, well, everyone needs to check out. you can watch this 19-minute video and read the transcripts of interviews at:
http://www.cbc.ca/national/blog/special_feature/positively_autistic/

(hat tip to ASAN)

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6 Comments

Filed under community, disability, intersections

6 responses to “neurodiversity & disability

  1. I was interviewed for it, and I can’t view it on this computer (they’re sending me a DVD), so I don’t know what all is in there besides what’s on the website.

    But it struck me as being about the autistic self-advocacy movement, rather than anything broader about neurodiversity. (Autistic people have tried to claim that term as exclusively their own sometimes, but it’s actually a lot bigger than one form of neurological diversity.) I could be wrong, of course, not having seen it.

  2. hi amanda, thank you for the correction and explaining that the neurodiversity and autistic self advocacy movement shouldn’t be used interchangeably! will correct now.

    i really appreciated what you had to say in the video.

  3. I can’t play this in Linux 😦

  4. agh! you have to at least check out the transcripts they posted : )

  5. I know I’m several days late with this, but VLC seems to work for playing the video in Linux.

    (Of course, it’s not captioned… and the transcripts don’t seem to entirely coincide with the video…)

  6. Opheliac

    I always thought of the term neurodiversity to be an umbrella term for psychiatric disabilities/madness/things considered mental ill-health in general. This includes autism, schizophrenia/schizoaffective, bipolar, unipolar, PTSD and others. Some of these we are born with or have them from a young age, others are triggered by life events, but it all boils down to our brains being very different from the acceptable mainstream ideal.

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