We are Here: Being Disabled at the Women’s March on Washington

What started out as a small group of women coming together after the election turned into one of the largest demonstrations in American history. It was for women. It was peaceful. It was sassy. And importantly, it incorporated a population that is often excluded from progressive causes: The disabled community. But you might not have known that from media coverage or even the programming of the Women’s March itself. When you have a disability getting to and participating in  demonstrations involves detailed advance planning. In order to help out, the Women’s March had an ADA tent. I volunteered While working in the ADA tent, I heard from many people who had difficulty on buses and airlines, difficulty trying to rent or borrow mobility equipment, and difficulty asking friends and family to help support them during the march. I asked a friend to come, not only because I wanted her to be … Continue Reading ››

Can We All Stop Talking About The ‘Disabled Reporter’ Incident Now?

Serge F. Kovaleski is a Pulitzer-awarded investigative reporter at The New York Times.  He has been a journalist for more than 30 years and has worked for the New York Times since 2006. Kovaleski has been in the media quite a lot recently, but most times I see his image or hear him discussed, his name has been stripped away.  He has been re-shaped into the iconic “disabled reporter mocked by Donald Trump.” I am not defending Trump’s mockery.  It was childish and despicable.  That said, in the long litany of Trump’s offenses against human decency, it is not the worst thing Donald Trump has done during this election cycle.  But Kovaleski has been treated poorly now by both sides and it’s time to stop presenting him as a token in ongoing political battles. Trump is not the only one to assault Kovaleski’s humanity.  Since Trump’s ridicule , the story has been … Continue Reading ››

Disability is not an Asterisk: Eric Garcia Interviews Dylan Matthews

Vox.com’s evening newsletter Vox Sentences headlines are a mix of the serious, with a bit of gallows humor such as “Congratulations, President-elect Trump. Here’s the World You’re Inheriting” and “How to Keep Bears out of Schools, Explained for Trump’s Ed Secretary.” One half of that newsletter is Dylan Matthews, a correspondent at Vox.com since its founding. He is also on the autism spectrum. Dylan has been a fixture writing about politics for more than decade now, beginning to write blog about politics under the title of minipundit at the age of 14. He eventually wrote for Slate, Salon, the American Prospect and the New Republic before he cut his teeth as at his college newspaper, the Harvard Crimson. He eventually began writing for the Washington Post under Wonkblog, which was run by Ezra Klein. When Klein left the Washington Post to start Vox.com, Matthews joined him and to … Continue Reading ››

A Letter from the Editor

Two years ago, I decided to try to start a culture and news site for the neurodiversity community. I also decided that if I was going to do it at all, I was going to do it right. My graduate degree is in writing. My sympathies lie squarely with writers. I wanted to make certain that people who wrote or made art for me would be paid for their work.  So I had to wait. Last summer, I received a generous award from the HSC Foundation and the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation. The web site has been undergoing a professional redesign -- I wanted NOS Magazine to look beautiful, to present the work of my fellow mad, neurodivergent, autistic, developmentally and intellectually disabled  contributors the way they deserved to be. Now, I can make the NOS Magazine I'd dreamed of a reality.

Why NOS Matters

What makes a people? For the last two decades, the Autistic community has struggled with that question. As a community first defined by doctors and researchers, portrayed to the public mainly by outsiders, and often born to non-autistic parents, it can be hard to sort out who we are and how we should relate to each other. Despite these difficulties, the last few years have found us starting to figure things out. Thanks to an active blogosphere, advocacy organizations like ASAN and AWN, and a strong coalition of leaders young and old working to build our grassroots, the Autistic culture, community and identity is stronger now than it has ever been. In the words of Jim Sinclair, the neurodiversity movement’s earliest leader, "Our community is still young, but a generation of autistic children has already grown up having experience and familiarity with autistic togetherness." The Autistic identity has grown … Continue Reading ››