Left Coast Media

North Bae 025 - Autism and Anti-Ableism

March 26, 2019 Left Coast Media Episode 25
Left Coast Media
North Bae 025 - Autism and Anti-Ableism
Show Notes Transcript

Rrrrn and Tiberius sit down with local anti-ableist organizer Garrett Winters to discuss issues within both the left and society in general as they relate to how we treat the disabled among us and how we can overcome this. For those who want to learn more about what we discussed and take that and run with it, here's Garrett's list of links and further readings as well as their PayPal support link:

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Personal page An Articulate Autistic (https://www.facebook.com/articulateautistic/)

Platform for marginalized voices to be heard which is always recruiting (tell people to contact the page for details) The Outcast (https://www.facebook.com/TheOutcastPost/) and the accompanying blog The Outcast Post (https://theoutcast.info/)

The Revolution Needs All Kinds of Minds: on Slacktivism and Ableism (https://theoutcast.info/the-revolution-needs-all-kinds-of-minds-on-slacktivism-and-ableism-2/) is a key post related to stuff I mentioned in the podcast and in the beginning are (https://www.autistichoya.com/2013/08/critiquing-temple-grandin.html), (https://ballastexistenz.wordpress.com/2006/04/27/temple-grandin-devalues-us-again-in-print-this-time/), and (https://ballastexistenz.wordpress.com/2006/01/08/temple-grandin-displaying-near-textbook-hfaas-elitism/) about Temple Grandin

Ally's Guide for Autism Acceptance Month (https://theoutcast.info/autism-acceptance-month-guide/) is something I made before I left to help allies help autistics by taking direct action regarding Autism $peaks, A Red Rage #RedInstead (https://theoutcast.info/a-red-rage-redinstead/) was my Autism Acceptance article from a couple years back and is one of my favorite articles, my other is You're Not As Important As You Think: on "Being Divisive" (https://theoutcast.info/youre-not-as-important-as-you-think-on-being-divisive/)

Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (https://autisticadvocacy.networkforgood.com/projects/23616-your-gift-will-help-empower-the-autistic-community) and Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network (https://awnnetwork.org/donate-to-awn/) are both good orgs also if people want to support me it's...very hard to find a job that's not overloading and I have been searching for a long time so here's my Paypal (https://www.paypal.me/GarrettWinters)"

Support the show

Communal Sauce:

Thank you for listening to this podcast from the left coast media collective part of the critical mediations network. To connect with us, follow the collective on Twitter at left-pad or email us at leftcoastpodcast(at)gmail(dot)com I'll work is supported by our patreon subscribers, including a KGB operative, helping comrades. Frank Madero, Keisey and PJ Hale. You can become a supporter by visiting patreon.com/leftcoastmedia. Collective members include Antifa Pope, Communal Sauce, Cheka Informant, Incarcountry, Potato Rain, Outer Siberia, Rosa and Rrrrn.

Garrett Winters:

I don't mind do-overs.

Rrrrn:

Heh, yeah.

Tiberius:

Alright comrades and welcome back to another episode of the North Bae. I am as always, your comrade Tiberius Gracchus. Here with me today I have my cohost, erstwhile,

Rrrrn:

Rrrrn!

Tiberius:

And we're joined by our guest today: Garrett. Go ahead, introduce yourself, tell us where you're coming from and what you're doing.

Garrett Winters:

Hello. My name's Garrett Winters, I'm an autistic activist and currently a student at Sonoma State.

Tiberius:

So we're talking today about a couple of things, mostly about issues with the interaction between oppressed groups and the left, specifically around neuro-divergent folks like yourself, people who have autism and other similar issues and disabilities. So give us a, give us an idea of sort of where you came in to the left and how you became one of the active members of our DSA chapter here locally.

Garrett Winters:

So I've been an autistic activist for about five years now. Doing what I can to help autistics and it started out against the narrative of autism being bad until, Trump came in who is an anti-vaxxer, was supported by Andrew Wakefield who made the autism->vaccine connection, called us doctrine inflicted made his new word for us. It's fun. And so the activism needed to become against the system, not just the narrative. So I, and a lot of autistic activists and disabled activists in general, ended up becoming part of radical left.

Tiberius:

We were talking earlier about the way that folks in your situation, or in the autistic or disabled communities, or other oppressed minority sort of get into the left is a little bit different from how a lot of the rest of us do. Where it is... It's less about these theoretical based critiques of the economic system and more about a reaction to like lived experience.

Garrett Winters:

It's about... It's not about theory but as much about trying to fight the systems that's keeping us marginalize, which is definitely a different route which does lead to different experiences and my personal experience.

Rrrrn:

It's good for some of us to be reminded that these fights have very immediate ramifications and implications. One question I would have is given that we are learning how to make spaces and adapt our environments to be more inclusive, and before this point, that has been I think lacking even in spaces in the left. What has the left been missing out and what would be the experience of people that maybe wanted to get involved but found that it was just too hard or it was just too unwelcoming?

Garrett Winters:

There's actually a lot of accessibility issues. First thing that comes to mind(I'm going to say a few things, but) the main thing is there's a lot of focus on in person activism and devaluation of all other forms. The term slacktivism comes to mind, but the thing is like for a lot of disabled people, in many different ways, in-person activism, rallies and riots and the like, it's very inaccessible. For me, I have, sensory difficulties with like sound and lots of people feel social anxiety so I can't handle lots of people, that kind of thing. People in wheelchairs can't exactly be going on the street, but also there's a lot of different ways that people can be activists, especially in the 21st century where we have the Internet where like I'm a writer and blogger about different issues, which while it's not on the street does end up reaching and having an effect on thousands of people and is just as big an effect as other types of activism, but is often devalued. Another thing that is been inaccessible as all hell is a lot of that alliance on theory on like you need to be able to read this to ride basically because I have ADHD, I struggle with the currently two classes that I'm focusing on reading stuff for them because I can't keep my head on things. Keeping on Das Kapital is not exactly in the cards, but also I believe that books on theory is really like inaccessible in a lot of ways like for all the people we're trying to reach, the working class, they might be single parents who need to spend all their time taking care of the kids or work multiple jobs and there's a lot of different factors that will make it so they can't do that. My life focus is more on what I call tactical activism. Basically like analyzing ways to actually reach people and make change for my community, intersectionally, like trying to work on fighting for trans autistics and autistics of color and other marginalizations. And so the last thing is for autistics, especially, I was lucky enough for the mainstream society to go to a school called Nova for Autistics to learn social skills and how to deal with some main social situations in the"normal", neurotypical world. When I went into leftism and leftist circles there was a completely different set of expectation, a completely different set of social rules, different vocabulary, which you're supposed to already know, and not a lot of tolerance for not being able to get those right away. Like I'm generally well spoken and active, but even then I have the wrong things and automatically really, like, launched upon and lots of people, which is par for the course in society in general. But

Tiberius:

Dealing with a lot of things like"you should know this already. It's not my job to teach you, go do your own research" kind of things? Like that kind of hostility to experiences that you're not already familiar with?

Garrett Winters:

Yeah, but at the same time, like for theory it's one thing, but I do, like, when you're talking about asking marginalized people talk about their own marginalizations in general, I do get why a lot of activists don't want to talk because it is a very personal thing. As an autistic activist, I never do that because the main organization, that controls the airwaves and narrative, Autism Speaks, is literally hate group. Should I say more about that? Because...

Rrrrn:

I definitely want to hear about that, but yeah, I had a couple thoughts too.

Garrett Winters:

They're a eugenics group, that they're... I mean, actually they're reason for my red shoes, and shirt, and headphones, and everything is literally because some of the"fun" things that they've done. Um, they had an ad called"Autism Every Day" that had a lot of parents talking horrible stuff about their kids, including one saying that she thought of driving her autistic daughter off of a bridge with her daughter in her lap saying the only thing stopping her was having an allistic(or non-autistic) daughter. And there's a lot of other horrible things that I could go into detail, but I've also, I'll link you the toolkit I made to help people fight[Autism Speaks] supporters because I made a toolkit with like 5 different things I've written with a lot of other resources to explain the various details, but basically because they and other problematic organizations will be on the first page, and probably second, as autistic activist I do not have the luxury to tell people that, because Google. So I gather resources and talk about the issues and make myself the point of contact for everyone to not lead them into xenophobia and anti-autistic ableism.

Rrrrn:

So there's very, very real stakes, I guess.

Garrett Winters:

Yeah.

Rrrrn:

Which is why you have to probably be as vocal as you can,

Garrett Winters:

Yeah.

Rrrrn:

Even when that not comfortable?

Garrett Winters:

Yeah. I mean thankfully, I mean I'm literally going into education. I am planning on teaching at the school I mentioned, actually, so telling people and teaching people stuff is, I like doing it! Um, well it's not visible obviously in podcasts. Like I wear red shirts and shoes and stuff because"Light Up Blue" for Autism Awareness in April's their thing, and that's coming up. Don't do that. Autistics have made autism*acceptance* movements because you know, we exist but there's a lot of issues so we need to be accepted like red instead. So I've literally built that into my aesthetic to use that to talk about the issues with this organization. But it is difficult sometimes, and down right soul killing at other times, to talk about this stuff. So like when other marginalized people say"do your own...", that talk about their own stuff, like,"go to Google" and stuff like that. I understand that, because there's other people, for them at least that, have taken the time and labor to write and explain stuff. But definitely when it comes to things like theory and the like, it is inaccessible as hell and it's expected that you understand this stuff. It's expected that you'll understand social situations like the different, very new, very different social rules. I don't know if people even think about that if they're not autistic, because things come naturally to people, but for me it's been trial and error. And I will admit there's a lot of error and I recognize some of it's on me, but it's also a completely inaccessible realm.

Rrrrn:

So one big thing that I always go to is like you were saying about theory and the whole sort of norms and interpersonal dynamics that we have in left circles. If you just went out and walked outside and went to some random person who's a working class person, who's people that we need to maybe get on our side, and you started talking to them about the issues that we talk about on Twitter or at meetings, they would be like, what are you even talking about? Do you know what I mean? Like, how do you translate? How do you make these ideas digestible and not just so that you can understand things like economics or activism? And the pitch has got to be in a few sentences. How do you convey to someone that what we're trying to do is going to help you in your situation, in your life in a very real measurable way and that is I think a challenge on the left and so to hear you talk about it from this perspective it, it very much mirrors that and it illuminates it for me.

Garrett Winters:

Yeah, it's definitely, like, it is very much the case that one of the things about accessibility in general is that when you make something more access to say old people, it inherently benefits everyone else. Like if you don't rely as much on theory that's going to make it so it's going to be life saving in some ways for us but also is going to help other people who aren't disabled as well. Common things like ramps for disabled people also create a different avenue for people to walk up and like other things. Also focusing like what is important to the common person because on my page and stuff like I've attracted an audience of a mixture of different communities because had gone to different places on Facebook, skeptic leftists and artist calculus communities. So like I am very, very careful about what language I use.

Speaker 2:

If I'm going to use a term, I know that people don't know I use parentheticals but this is what that means. I have an inline explanation of that term so I can use that but also inform people about it and then continue what I need to say. Um, there's a lot of different tools that people could use to like make it better, but ableism is something that by the people hold and it's difficult sometimes to get people to actually listen, especially because a lot of things that seemed like not big deals to people can be vife altering for the better or much worse.

Speaker 5:

See you were talking about issues like the focus on physical events, rallies and you know to an extent quote unquote riots. These kinds of things as being sort of inherently like inaccessible. And you are also talking about how in I think particularly online spaces people have been quite hostile to you and other people with perhaps reading or learning disabilities who can't interact or get into the the kind of theory that quote unquote real leftists are supposed to know.

Speaker 2:

I think to make it clear that this is not just me, like I like I actually, there's a lot of people, a lot of autistics that I have found at the fringes of leptins and where they're at this point where they realize the system screwed up and they want to do something about it. They want to do the system, but because of these issues they are basically stomped at the wall. And because I'm a blogger and a very out and now it activists, I have kind of intro to the side door of leftism because I have found that his stick activists do not really exist. I got this voice actor's voices do not really exist within leftism and we'll, that's because all the reasons I've stated so, but there's a lot of who people who don't have the same privileges of already having an audience. And like doing the same things that need these things just as much and would be Volcom and very, very useful to these movements because the passion for social justice and try and make a difference is something that runs very in my community. But they, and we, because I'm so, I exist in this weird space of being included but also not being able to be one. We could do some good if the left was actually open enough for us to actually be part of it.

Speaker 5:

Well I'd like to put a pin on that. I think I want to have that particular point right there. You know, the reason why we need to be accessible for, for everybody who was, who exists all, all, you know, marginalized lines within class society. But before we actually get to that, I, I kind of want to double back and talk about the lacking, uh, nature of the less pedagogy where when you go back and you read a lot of the sort of like the or texts, they're very difficult to get into. And Marxism in particular is, is really difficult to get into, which is I think a huge blind spot for us because I personally feel that having a grounding in Marxism is a really important because it allows us to have a way to methodologically critique and examine the structures of society and in a way that allows us to build a theory of how we actually go about changing society.

Speaker 2:

There is something, well something that people who believe that theory is very important could do is maybe take these things and distilled them because, cause that's one of the things that I do on my blog because I take concepts that are like intersectionality and cause I'm merchandise activists like different types of allies and things like respectability politics and these key terms. And I explained them so like people could put some work into like writing out like where are the basics of this thing? Something that would be readable that would be able to get people on the same page without just handing them the book. Because it is possible to take complex things that are important and puts them to language that anybody can understand.

Speaker 5:

Right. And that was really exactly what I was going to ask you that you know, you've sort of preempted me on that and so, but I kind of wanted to get you, because I know, I know that this is a lot of what you've been doing or you know, beyond just saying, well we need to explain things in a little bit more detail in sort of lay language. What are those sort of ways that for anybody who understands theory and thinks that they have a sort of ability to, to actually start explaining things to people, what are the ways in which we could actually sit down and explicate these dense theories in a way that people who don't have a background in like philosophy or other, uh, liberal arts or creative arts can actually access?

Speaker 2:

Well, I mean first like say you need to like think about what are the key points in it that you actually want to draw attention to and focus on those. For instance, I could say a lot more about autism speaks, but I rely on these are the punch here, things that are actually going to be heard and affect people. Um, sort of Glenn and budget and all of random details. But for like if you're like doing like written stuff, my main tool always, um, has been panther Nichols for like when you're like using a very simple way to ground people in advanced terminology is to write something that involves the words but also like put like parentheses. Okay, this is what the word means. I mean that actually does a lot because you have the word in context and the definition and that helps. I do that deliberately with allistic a lot, which means not autistic. Um, I always use it and then put in parentheses not as historic because that normalizes the term before in person talk. Um, yeah, it's just like think of about what do I need to get across. There's a lot of information out there in these books and stuff. What is actually going to like affect the person and change them or get to my side and my side. And think about like also that part of your goal because it's like just talking about the subject just to talk is not going to get people's attention. Like in English we learn different types of essays with different types of goals and that's something that like if you want to focus on getting them against the capitalist system, think about your audience. If they're in a place that is mainly worker exploitation, then think about okay this is what works and will actually they'll care about and also just like simplify or language as much as possible. It's difficult at times. I know in order to keep attention like even like start people on even like paying attention to you. I genuinely do what I do in English just to try to hook, like create something that instant connection first, something that realize and then use that to build into your actual like points of

Speaker 6:

what you want to get to know it for issue inner personally I find that asking people questions about themselves is the absolute best way to do that. Yeah, definitely. Right. Sort of taking the concepts that you want to get across and figuring out a way to ground that in context in the lived experience of the audience that you're trying to get to.

Speaker 2:

I do this all the time but also like an example of my, like my Hooky, um, when I'm trying to get liberals on the edge of going against capitalism. I talk about high version things about respectability politics and how the system, how people need to riot or like vandalized because the system values broken windows over broken lives. So like I can, I connect, I use my writing stuff I've done because they're interested in me to go into something that people care about, social justice, about people hurting and then I use that to connect to try to like starting to think of it the inhumanity of the capitalist system and it's care more about products over people. So what I, what I think I'm getting,

Speaker 6:

he is these interactions that we have be more deliberate about that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's what I, that's what I constantly like cause I am an activist. That's my main key is trying to convince people. So like I go into every single interaction thinking deliberately about what, how I can use my stuff to get people to, and like tactically I call it tech play actors. And because of that is because like what tactics can I use to convince people? And I do like basically I have literally used like my aesthetic, like why do I, because people notice that I have abundance of red and they don't ask and I use a little the reason for this is, and then use that to talk about autism speaks and issues. So like go in with a purpose, figure out how you can best achieve that purpose because most people can't just be got because you want to inform them and educate them. And at the moment I think there is a need for focus on actionable knowledge and leftism in, in, in general, like for all time, but especially in this current political system and with the, uh, whole entire claim that change 12 years thing, there needs to be a focus on how can we use our words to do things

Speaker 6:

right. So things that might just seem mundane and quotidian like talking to another person in the, in the context of activism or if you're at a meeting or at a rally that just are maybe natural to us. We should w what I'm getting from you is by all of us learning how to be more inclusive and find ways to communicate that don't alienate people. We will then be better at just getting more people on our side, which very much so vital.

Speaker 2:

That's been my experience because I've had people, because that is the key to my writing. I've had people come to me and tell me that this thing hasn't been explained it all and they've been confused as hell, but because I make it my purpose to explain things, I'm freaking down a lot of these barriers on my own with my writing because as possible it is very possible too. Think about, oh, this is a term that the common person might not understand and then break down its root foundations and why it matters to them and why it matters to society and to acting against the system. Because there's a lot of people who are discontented even even in the liberals. But that is a good jumping point right now. Yeah. Um, I know accelerationist I don't want things to get worse because people are dying and will continue to die, but,

Speaker 7:

and the worst effect that are always us, exponentially more effective when you get into situations of what people call like accelerationism that as things get bad, they get bad. Worse for the people already on the margins of society or they get bad enough for the people within the mainstream to really feel it. Yeah,

Speaker 2:

exactly. Like it's like four assistant. Like I, you can do that. But that's because your body, your people aren't the ones that are going to be dying. And that's the main issue I have with it is that like I, my community, not on my friends. If things keep getting worse, we're going to be the casualties of that.

Speaker 6:

Yeah. So like I said, very real stakes. Very real. Yeah. I mean, day to day stakes and there's, there's your hook, honestly, when you're trying to get, you know, I mean, just bring, bring to mind the life or death ramifications of, of these battles. Um, it seems like the radical left has been insular in sectarian, in inaccessible to all sorts of groups, um, for the last few decades because they've, I think that's directly related to the lack of power they've had. Zero. I mean, they've basically had no effect on anything in the broader political world. And now that that is slowly starting to change, it's a good time to actually examine the way we interact because I see power slowly starting to build and we need to fold people in that before just were not considered vital or if they don't understand what we're saying, you know, like you show up to a meeting of some group because you're interested and you find people arguing over secondary like Soviet figures and, and like all these like, no, I, I dunno. I, that was my experience honestly. Like, yes, the Spanish revolution, all that stuff. And I do care about that now as I learned more about it, but I was like,

Speaker 2:

what about today? Yeah, I mean, yeah, exactly. But like honestly like maybe the left has more power now, but this, these things are how you gain power, right? It's how you reach people. So maybe like if we, if there was a focus on that in the past couple of decades, then there would have been more power now because it would have had more people because for me, like my skin is in the game and this, like, once the Nazis started rising up, I was literally counting how many ways would they want me dead. And I'm Trans nonbinary I'm disabled and I'm gay. So that's three was I didn't really care about is trans disabled Jewish. Wow. Um, so like all the things, and so like this stuff is not theoretical. This is literally like our lives are on the line. And so I'm never, I've never really been focused on solid or like, because it's like shit's happening now and it's getting worse and the world is burning basically for a lot of people. And I can't focus on the merits of like how bad stolen was when there's so much disenfranchisement amongst the people I care about as somebody who's more focused on merchandise, people connected to them. So yeah, there is a lot of things which might be relevant. Other circles might even be relevant that I just can't connect to. Um, I recognize that, but still there's should be a lot more focus on the present day and like what we can do to fight the system and not mean a big thing for me has been trying to get people to turn that discontent with Trump and to recognizing that Trump has just showing the face of how America has been a problem. Because that, I think that's another big thing for us is that liberals who have issues with Trump are going to be folk folk there think that the bigotry and everything is going to be impeached or it's going to be a way next year if he gets taken out. I mean, um, doesn't get reelected, not taken out. I totally, I totally don't want the other option truly because this is live. But I think a lot of focus needs to be on getting them to realize that Trump is a system that is the symptom of the problem of a country that fuels and feeds off of systemic oppression, bigotry and use that to make it so they join us in fighting the long game.

Speaker 6:

It's the hardest thing. I mean I literally think they just want Trump gone cause they don't want to be reminded of the violence inherit to America being the dominant world. Like I have to be honest, I don't know how to ask their phrase this, but what would be, so for example, like specifically, um, like if we got more and more autistic people that want to be part of the left to come in, like, um, besides just the sort of benefits of being able to be more accessible because things are more clear. What other benefits could, could that bring? Um, I mean like the more diversity the better, et Cetera, et cetera. But I'm sure you thought about this.

Speaker 2:

Well, the thing was the autistic community is that there's a large social justice bent. There's large like doing what we can to um, fight to make things better. Um, that is something that I love about it. And so by making it more accessible, you're going to be tapping into a community that is largely built around doing what we can to make people better. Cause like a lot of us have their stereotypes. We have no empathy, empathy. Um, a lot of us do have like high empathy and like Billy put ourselves in her shoes and also high compassion, which is different, which is actually caring about people. And like we want to do stuff. I know so many autistics which are frustrated because they see leftism is like doing good things and I want to be part of it but they can't. Yeah. And it, it is very frustrating because I exist at this sort of, this bridge in my personal experience, um, between people who are doing good work that I've connected to and a lot of people who want but are able to make people listen to them no matter how informed on leftism they are.

Speaker 6:

So what are some examples of actions, cause you were talking earlier about these very immediate, almost violent called fluids as a people PR rallies, marches. What are other incarnations of what we would call an action as opposed to sort of just the discourse that could be more inclusive even if they exist outside of, you know, like on the internet or, or even if you've, we create other, I dunno,

Speaker 5:

I kind of want to make this a little bit more explicit and to say that when we talk about the way that we go about our education and the way that we go about bringing people in, it is not just about bringing people in for the sake of bringing people in. We have to make sure that our work is grounded in the material conditions that people actually exist in.

Speaker 2:

So, yes. So one thing that I was going to mention is, um, when it comes to like organizational spaces, like recently I did meet with our local DSA chapter, which was great. Um, and so that's one thing that like people can bring in

Speaker 5:

and you don't have to sugarcoat it for us. Like we're all about the ruthless critique of all that exists here.

Speaker 2:

There was a lot of things that were there that like we're also not explained like circles and like other things that were like, I was confused as hell half the time. Then it means stuffs like that is definitely useful. I do think that like the DSA just have Google group, which is great. Um, I think that's something that leftist spaces and have just organizations should really think about is investing work in having a digital presence for a lot of autistics we can't drive. So getting to events even is like I can, but situations like right now with the rain, um, it gets so overloading that I was really using my headphones full driving because it was the only way I can actually handle it. So like I think that something that lifts the circles, which this chapter's done need to do is create a digital presence, create maybe a group or have a page or disseminate things online because trust me, you reach a lot of, you can reach a lot of people if you have well written, easily, easily digestible stuff. On the net online, you can reach people across the globe. So I think that's something that really needs to be worked on that could be cultivated, that's not explored. I know there's also issues of

Speaker 5:

op sec of like keeping things secure as well. That's difficult with that. But you know, something that they can definitely do well. And I kind of want to go back a little bit to the question that Aaron raised before. I think a little bit of a clumsy way. I know I was trying to work my way through it. Yeah. Um, I think, I think the better way to do that is what are we, who else now I'm so instead of just like asking a leading question here, I'm just going to stay at this outright. I think that a lot of people, especially those of us on the left, like we've talked about this before a lot, we come to our leftism through empathy and compassion and, and the primary driving goal is that we want to, we want people to be the best that they can be. We, we wanna, we wanna create a society that allows people to express themselves in the healthiest way possible that allows them to, um, realize their own goals. And so this is like the, the position that we're coming from. So, you know, even even a lot of people who are operating within spaces that aren't accessible, their goal is to help out people who are disabled. And I think that it's a laudable goal, but unless what we are doing, the ways in which we're doing it in the specific areas that we choose to focus on are informed and led by the people who are affected by it most. I think that we can end up often doing more harm than good. And so I think that for a specific example, if we want to make our spaces, if we want to help out autistic people, if we're trying to do that in a way that were not in communication and with the, the assistants and leadership of people who are autistic, we can end up replicating the same systems of oppression that we see in the broader society. Yeah. So I I you know, in in the vein of ruthless critique, I don't know if you were familiar with it, but there was an issue relatively recently within the DSA about the Medicare for all working group being kind of ablest and the way that they were going about organizing. And I was wondering if there are sort of other issues similar to that or that, that you have seen or experienced personally and maybe if we can kind of explicate the ways in which we're sort of like failing to meet the meet the needs within our own organizations of people who have autism

Speaker 2:

or other disabilities and the ways in which we can actually sort of materially work to, uh, affect changes that are positive for, for all of our communities. Well, I mean like the thing, let's say you need to like ask, cause I, all of us have different needs. One thing that is definitely great, honestly, the, I had folks on is transportation. Like one organization I've worked with Chi for homemaker association that's attend a lot of good, that's locally in Santa Rosa, say pick people up. They drive people there. And that actually does a lot for people who can't get to places easily, which for a while was me. Cause I could, I used to only do the take the bus places because driving was going to be difficult. So I didn't until I needed to for school and get my driver's license and stuff. Another thing, um, make sure there's always like someone that takes down notes or like something like that. Because for me, I have auditory processing issues. So like if there's a long meeting or somebody sang along thing, I'm not going to get it all. I'm not going to keep in my head it is literally impossible. Like in a school, I have a note taker and their thing is give people time to respond and process things. They're just like, these are some basic things that I get problems with in general. But, um, I think those are key things. Um, for like transportation, obviously we can't pick everyone that needs drives up. So preparing that would be great. Um, think about bus stop locations and time with that because thankfully we live in an area that has pretty robust bus. I public transit. Um, so now can I transmit especially, but also like at these pedal in the center as I have their own. So like think about that and maybe not try to pick somebody up at their house, but network with them to see if they can get to a bus station, picked them up there or like stuff like that. Definitely like the entree, like there's this, um, terminate education, multimodal, which refers to trying to get, um, different use, different techniques at once. So like if I ever share a video, I hunt down transcripts or like make it so there is someone at meetings, make sure there is somebody that's analyzing, pick out the key points. So in case, um, I'll be able to participate as much as I can. But at the end, if there's some day that's like taking notes, like, here's the important details that's gonna make it so I can actually use the information because my mind can't retain it at all. I think that's it at the moment. Okay. So

Speaker 6:

these suggestions, I'm trying to just figure out how you would like gage certain needs. So, I don't know if it's putting out the question, like would it help to say, how can we make, say our meetings, for example, a more accessible or digestible and, um, are people having transportation issues? And if so, how can we, or like, so our first DSA meeting here, we got someone to translate a Spanish translator and she was amazing and it was great. And about three quarters the way through the meeting we realized nobody was Spanish only in the room. And so it was like, okay, so we're, we're like, we'll keep this on hand, this, um, in case, you know, we do need it, but how do we sort of know where to put the resources can, considering it's just, you know, for example, it's a small chapter. Most of these things are really not that hard. You just have to be aware that there's a need.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Well, I mean like if you provide things like this, people don't need it. Yeah. I can't imagine that other people would not benefit from maybe having notes. Like that's the thing with the accessibility things is that they often benefit people of various waves. Not everyone has auditory processing issues, but people might want to go back and like look and like, oh these are important. The things we talked about, just like have the specific things that wouldn't have the issues. So like if the thing with like supports like they use is that even if you have them and they're not being used, then there's no negative side effects. But if you have them and there's somebody who needs it, you're doing a world of difference because like it was like for the DSA meeting that I went to Sunday didn't, wasn't able to come and ask me how it happened and like I was able to get some of the basic things down that they were sick and if for instance somebody took key notes or like took down, all different things happened, they would have it. There are a lot of things that like society benefits from that just to say well people or people other marginalizations will just benefit from more. I think

Speaker 6:

another example of this, which you kind of brought up earlier was would be people

Speaker 7:

with physical or mobility disabilities benefit greatly from, you know, expanded public transportation. But that also greatly helps the rest of us as well in terms of uh, having our, our infrastructure built in a way that is, you know, pedestrian friendly, community friendly, that is more environmentally sustainable. So it's, it's, you know, like you said, it's not just that we need to have more public transportation for people with physical disabilities. It greatly benefits them, but it also benefits everybody else. So, so the more that we can make our spaces, our communities more accessible to the people who have the hardest time getting into it, you're just making it easier for everybody else to get into it as well.

Speaker 2:

Try their thing with like having access to people who might feel picked people up. Having this cars going to the same place and having less people needing to find parking is also a lot more environmentally friendly. So maybe having those, you might not have mobility impaired people. If you do, you're going to make it so they can get to a place. But also for non mobility impaired people. Carpooling is great. We all can agree on that. Everyone benefits from that. You get to know your comrades, comrades, you have a lot less frustration or parking spots, which I am honestly very, very familiar with as is every Sonoma state soon. It kind of slowly,

Speaker 7:

yeah, parking is bad on campus. It got, it got worse when they built some of the new buildings because they took over some of the parking lot and didn't build any more. Yeah. And it's a commuter college.

Speaker 2:

Like I've had the, I've had to go through seven different parking spots before class.

Speaker 7:

Yeah. The, the people that people add, Sonoma state are coming from like upwards of 30 40 miles away on a daily commute. So it's a lot of cars.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I'm proof of this is like, you know, all these ridiculous on seats as seen on TV. Things like snuggies and the like. All of those things were made for disabled people. Hmm. But they have ads to that appeal to an enabled audience. Things which might seem lazy to help people like nick cooking a lot simpler. Things that see my lazy people are actually for people who can't cook snuggies concurring wheelchairs and provide warmth that way. Um, so like a lot of the, a lot of things that help disabled people help you to Ryan, having those supports in place to help disabled people is going to radically change for us, but it's going to help you. And so that's why like accessibility culture, like having that would be beneficial at everyone. So always like there might not be the need, there might not be the key need for people, but it's going to help you and it's going to help people, right. That don't have this specific need. Okay.

Speaker 6:

It, so I'm purposely trying to play the part of those as 10 well, no, not devil's advocate. The person who is just not aware and wants to know, trust me, I appreciate it. A lot of people aren't aware and everything you said has been like, things I haven't even thought of from that angle. Like, Oh yeah, this is just going to make our meetings better. And I've never heard the f the phrase accessibility culture. I kind of created that. It's good though isn't real good term because it's, it's a heading under which there are these various things. Everything you've gone over has just been a good idea in general. Like what you're saying. Um, so I guess what are some resources for people? Um, now that we've pointed out with the benefit and, um, the reasons to do it, whether or not, you know, have an immediate need, what are some resources for people because these, these things, while they're all good ideas, they didn't necessarily occur to me or if they did, they were in a long list of other stuff. We should.

Speaker 2:

Well, does that make sense? Yeah. I mean look for like Onco, like autism is kind of screwed, but there's disabled organizations. I mean if you actually, if you wanted to look up autism stuff, look up the[inaudible] advocacy network cause that's our artistic organization. But like there are a lot of resources. Our voices are not often heard in public discourse easily, but we're out there that are just for autism. Uh, Jake can take community bloggers, but there's also like people talking that disability issues. Um, just always, my recommendation would be to make sure that the writer is disabled themselves. Because quite often that happens is that there's a lot of people speaking for us and over us. Autism, people like to say we're the voice system now, all the nonverbal and so, um, they can talk for us and like say things, but like, so like it's also definitely like make sure the person you're reading is disabled. But yeah, just, just look Google. Like, cause like there are a lot of us and we, not all of us can come to a meeting, but the computer like Internet has honestly been the greatest gift to the disability community at large because, well, I mean the thing with disabled merge specifically is that there are no disabled neighborhoods. Right? There's like if you're black quite often, like not everyone grows up and bite neighborhood, but there are black neighborhoods. Um, so just say we'll, community largely exists on the Internet because that connects people globally. So like I'm connected with a lot of like now autistic activists in Britain and Australia. I would never meet. So like that's definitely something to check out cause there's people who have spoken and written a lot better than I have. Like I'm just in the um, special position of having been, um, more active in the left. So make it so you can hear me. But um, there's a lot of people to hunt down who have made it. They made this their main focus in their work.

Speaker 7:

Well and if I can piggy back a little bit off of what you are saying is, you know, coming from it, coming at this from the other side is as someone who was, you know, extremely ignorant in a lot of these things and you know, we all grow up in this really ablest and bigoted society, you know, trying to, trying to figure out ways to just sort of like get past that. I think the, one of the biggest things is just to realize that just because someone has a disability or is neuro atypical, that like that's it doesn't mean that they can't be an advocate for themselves, that they can't be involved. It might be the involvement might be in a little bit of a different way. You know, a lot of times it will require those of us who are abled and neuro-typical to give space for that. But you know, I think the fundamental thing is just to realize that everybody can be involved in this. There are very few people for whom there is no space and I can't think of any, I don't know that that person exists for whom there just is no space for them to be involved in their own liberation.

Speaker 2:

Most definitely. And like we have like just, hey, we'll do rights. Movement, um, has been fighting hard in silence and that being ignored as consistently felt like, I'm glad I'm able to be here right now. The enormity of me being the main, like artistic voice gets to me often, honestly. Cause a back before I entered left to circles, it was a small fashion if they pawn and quite happy about that. But yeah, so there's a lot of people that speaking about this a lot better than I am. Um, and I'm a lot better when writing cause uh, um, verbal stuff is difficult. Um, another thing like a phone calls, not only are those very impossible for those of us are nonverbal, which I want to make clear that, um, there's a lot of nonverbal people that there's this conception that just because you can't speak, you don't have anything to say, but there's a lot of people who would be able to contribute with typing. Like I have a good friend, fellow activists and consequences, yet that is a nonverbal autistic. So phone calls is set. Not only can they not participate in that also for me, they're crushing anxiety. That screws me up sometimes for days after. And if I was like, if I was like, phone culture representatives are difficult, um, because, oh, there's so much riding on that. Um, so like maybe even if you're making calls to action where you're like having phone calls, like getting phone number, um, maybe also put an email might be good to just just saying because that's what I can do without, um, being screwed up. Or also another thing would be devotee good is provide scripts provides like, this is what, this is the person to call, but this is what you should say because that would be, that's great because then at least we have a guide we can rely on. It's not just, hey, call this very important person with the whole entire movement writing on you. It's no big deal. Right. Eh, mental, screaming. Um,

Speaker 7:

well, and we all need those, I think. Yeah. For those, for those of us who haven't, and you know, I was in that same situation where I hadn't ever done that before and they didn't know how. And you know, the first couple of times having that script made me feel like I had something to hold onto. Talking to this person who, you know, culturally we're inculcated to see as like powerful and that, you know, that they gave me a place where I felt like I had a little bit of something to hold onto that I could talk back to them and make sure that I am heard as well. So, you know, again, it's, it's not just people who are autistic or have anxiety, it's all of us who benefit by by helping out those who are the most marginalized.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So we're rolling up on him

Speaker 5:

bout an hour and I think that we've gotten a lot out of this conversation, but I just kind of want to throw it over to you. What are the things that, that we might have like glossed over or maybe missed, uh, in this conversation that we should end on?

Speaker 2:

Um, honestly, the whole entire mentioning auditory processing, I can't really like, can you address that

Speaker 6:

a whole hour verbatim?

Speaker 2:

No, I can't really recite the things that I think should have been sure covered because I can't keep in my head everything that was covered. And I think it went pretty well. I think it went very well.

Speaker 6:

Much. I mean honestly like this has been, I'm really glad I was here. Um, and a really, it really changed the way I look at a lot of stuff.

Speaker 2:

Oh, I'll give my email to put snake cause like I'm very good with like sake, if people who are listening who are listening to this want to that contact me, I'll give you my email. Um, because

Speaker 8:

I'm okay.

Speaker 2:

It's very good at providing information myself. But also so the same for resources from other people. And I'd be glad to help because this is, there's a lot of potential for left. She'll be a lot better because there is a desire to be more accessible.

Speaker 8:

MMM.

Speaker 2:

And it recognized need. But when you're disabled, people are generally ignored and not heard. It makes it hard, which I fully recognize. So yeah. So I'll give that faith, want to contact me and also give my, uh,

Speaker 8:

mmm.

Speaker 2:

Social media things and stuff to contact. Because for people who hear this and we're like, this is important, but what do I do? Because I want people to be a lot more articulate that way also. Good,

Speaker 6:

good. Um, I don't know if you want to wrap it up, but I was a little curious about the autism speaks things. So they're like the biggest

Speaker 2:

and Sanger, the biggest organization buy in addition to the that adds. And there was another ad called Iam autism with China stalkerish voice that had talked about how autism ruins marriages, bankrupts families makes it can't go anywhere without to spear spare pain. Um, all first person. That was great. Um, they also span 3% on Stanley services, 69% on fundraising, lobbying and advertising like those wonderful ads. Um, and the nonprofit industrial complex is the next part that's spent is on research for the cause and the cure, although they found a thesaurus when their founder died and now says cause and solutions. Well, as I point out, the main or their organization that I've marked by three, they for life, American Cancer Society is looking for the cause and the cure of cancer. And he's in there looking for the cause of cancer, additional care because they want to prevent it from existing. And considering that autism speaks literally that I am autism add the second one really says it's faster than pediatric aids cancer combined. That's their goal too, except when you're trying to prevent people of neurology. That's literally eugenics. So when a fundraiser and Canada almost had a new Nazi group walk before people did a Google search and showed that the soldiers of Odin, um, which should have been a tip off more in fact a Neo Nazi organization. And then like there's really an article autism speaks, how long does it take to look into it because of that? No, autistic activists was surprise that they almost had Nazi that they're welcome because you genesis of a feather fly together. So yeah. So that's the main thing for me has been, um, autism speaks, I, I've written five different articles and also going to make, um, I did it last year. I'm not going to make it again, a guide for, um, cause a lot of businesses next month. I'm not looking forward to it because, um, it's when everyone's laying at bloom stuff, a lot different businesses will have fundraisers are not for autism speaks and the likes. So, um, turning an article, this science, it was a basic guide for people on how to get people to not support them cause they ace and the organization is, I've seen that work, which if you do want to help autistics this month it's coming month. Um, that is an organization I would on hundred percent recommend supporting. Um, they have a flyer that they may just specifically talking about autism speaks. Um, breaking down the stuff which I've talked about that could be printed out and given to people and um, but yeah, I'll make fat again, um, to uh, hopefully educate people on not only the problems with them but also like how you can take the enter physical action. Because this next month, um, is like is called hell month by a lot of us. Um, because it's when, um, everyone is lying it blue and they're puzzle pieces and different companies have mud thong partnerships and it's like that hatred that they have first focus to pinpoint to the point where it is inescapable. Um, um, more, I mean, I did escape it by gaming the whole entire month, um, last year. Um, because like I told myself that I'm going to write articles, I'm going to do stuff, but it just got too much to me that I ended up, I'm putting myself in secret origins, the game playing, um, instead of dealing with the actual world.

Speaker 7:

Understandable. Yeah. Um, somebody else that, that comes up when a lot of people eat, a lot of well intentioned people are trying to learn more about like autism and these kinds of things as temple Grandin. And that actually came up at one of our recent social events and

Speaker 2:

yes. So I'm temple Grandin is, yeah, she used the, I call it the famous autistic at capitalize when I'm typing. Um, but she's actually a, how do I put this horrible. Um, because, um, she's one of this like variety of activists called the ass supremacists, which is, um, people like for instance, for me, I'm signed, didn't cover functioning labels are this ridiculous binary because calling someone like us, quote unquote high functioning people are um, weaknesses and stuff are ignored. And also our ability to look high functioning vocal more neurotypical, which is what it means is actually something that takes a lot of mental stress and is draining as hell and low functioning. I just like consider calling somebody low functioning and how is that not shit right? But there's some people including Tim Grannon who go the exact opposite of me. Um, they consider aspergers, which is just a synonym for high functioning autism also named after a Nazi scientists. But that's another thing, don't use it. They think that Asperger's is the, like as the next stage of human evolution, which the anthropologist in me hates because evolution is not a stepladder. It is totally chaotic. There's no neck, there's no next step. And they, the value which he has done multiple times in her books though are functioning autistics. They don't consider them the same species. So she's done that multiple times. One of her famous speeches is the world needs all kinds of minds, which actually I think your article till I wrote an article called the revolution needs all kinds of minds on the able to social slacktivism where I covered that aspect a lot more. She talks about like how the world needs autistic minds, but she ends up with this like by this year you should do say teach that they should be able to do this thing. And it's like if the world needs all kinds of mind, why are you basically telling people that autistics all have the same one and have, are going to be able to do the same things at the same times. So yeah, so she's actually terrible. Um, but because of her background, she ended up in the spotlight, which we'd really shouldn't be putting so much focus on people just because their circumstances. So got them. There is another thing. But yeah, I could easily name a lot of different autistics they should look into or list them and something that people could actually, um, the kind of the website if you want.

Speaker 7:

Yeah. I think the easiest way to do that would be too, if you have an article or a website that lists a lot of the different resources and the kinds of information or connections that they can provide, uh, I would definitely would like that for the show so that, you know, people who are listening to this who, who feel like a, this is, these are a lot of good points. We need to start doing this more in our own, or if they just have a curiosity for its own sake to understand better the comrades that, that we're trying to work with. It was if he could provide that and you know, other other things that you might have written or, you know, like you said this, there's social media. Uh, I, I think that'd be very helpful for our audience so that they can, um, you know, interact and take this, take this further. Because I think that while this has been a really a really good and, and wide ranging discussion, I think that this is really just sort of like the tip of the iceberg of a Munchkin broaders topic. Yeah. All right. Well I think that that's a great spot that, that we can wrap it up. I really want to thank you for, um, joining us and providing your insight into this topic so that people really understand, you know, sort of what's at stake and what we need to be doing better within our own spaces and in society more broadly. So, and for, for our audience listening, if you would like to find more resources that are our comrade here, as alluded to and talked about, we'll put links into their social media accounts and ways to get ahold of them and other similar resources so that you can, you know, sort of take this into your own spaces. So thank you for coming on. Signing off. I am as always Tiberius Krokus

Speaker 9:

I'm Aaron Winters, go in peace and be in solidarity comrades.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.