This Week in Neurodiversity

Each Friday at NOSmag, I post some links relevant to neurodiversity news and culture criticism around the web. This is what I’ve been reading and that I think you should be reading too. Feel free to add links of your own in the comments and email suggestions for future link roundups to nos.editorial@gmail.com. "We Are Not Burdens and We Don't Deserve to Die": A Disability Day of Mourning Roundtable" featuring NOS editor Sara Luterman, NOS contributor Cara Liebowitz, and bipolar badass Victoria M. Rodríguez-Roldán, among others. Amy Sequenzia rejects the concept of "intelligence," especially when it comes to her and her fellow nonspeaking typists. #CripTheVote is hosting a Twitter chat on March 12 on protecting the ADA. The Autistic Self Advocacy Network has released an action alert to give you the tools you need to help save the ADA and Medicaid. Play Overwatch? Fan favorite Symmetra has been confirmed autistic. … Continue Reading ››

How Kellyanne Conway Sits Doesn’t Matter

Recently, White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway was photographed kneeling on the couch in the Oval Office, staring intently at her phone, as a crowd of dignified African American educational leaders in suits posed for a photo with President Trump. Some of the social media responses were genuinely funny, some were cruel, some posed serious concerns, and some were just plain ridiculous. But the overall picture they form is, not surprisingly, an unfairly judgmental one. Many commenters accused Conway of uncouthness and unladylike behavior. Many faulted Conway's upbringing. For example, one  comment I saw asked if she “even had a mother,” implying that anyone with parents would know better than to put their feet on the sofa. This is part of a much larger trend of judging human beings, particularly women, by their appearance and behavior at every moment. It's remarkable how much we believe we can tell about a person … Continue Reading ››

Speechless O-S-Oscar P-A-Party Reinforces a Dangerous Stereotype

I love ABC’s Speechless.  It is one of my favorite shows currently on the air. As someone with cerebral palsy, I’m beyond thrilled that someone like me is finally being shown on TV as just a regular character, not a “special” guest to teach the non-disabled characters the meaning of kindness. Micah Fowler, who plays JJ, actually has cerebral palsy, a fact that excites me to no end. Unfortunately,the show has a worrying trend of sort of sideways swiping a trope or stereotype about disability, but not directly subverting it.  It’s like after the first few episodes, the show lost its nerve.  And nowhere was that more obvious than the latest episode, O-S-Oscar P-A-Party. In it, Maya hosts an Oscars viewing party for her support group of “special needs” moms. The moms are your typical stereotype of a mom parenting a kid with a disability – Perpetually messy, sweatpants-wearing, warrior moms … Continue Reading ››

Keah Brown: Disabled, Cute and on a Mission

Keah Brown is a journalist and writer whose work has appeared in ESPNW, Teen Vogue, Lenny Letter and other publications. She also runs an amazing Twitter.  Recently, Keah launched the #DisabledAndCute hashtag declaring herself and anyone who cared to contribute their own selfies cute. It has since become a huge hashtag, with people from all around the world with many types of disabilities and with many different intersections contributing their own cuteness and self love. Magazines and content aggregator sites alike have posted galleries from the tag, and Keah was even interviewed for TV. I decided I wanted to interview Keah and talk about the tag, representation, intersectionality, and writing. Savannah: I loved the way that the hashtag uses the attractive rather than patronizing use of cute. Could you talk a little about how you landed on cute?   Keah: the word … Continue Reading ››

End Silence from National Organizations on Dietrich Assault

The Dietrich, Idaho locker room assault victim needs to matter to organizations in disability rights advocacy and mental health advocacy.  He needs to matter to human rights advocacy groups. He needs to matter to civil rights groups, and groups advocating against hate crimes.  He needs to matter to advocacy organizations that fight to help survivors of torture. The silence from national disability advocacy organizations makes it clear that when it comes to crimes against disabled victims, Black lives don’t matter. This silence is complete and familiar. This silence is a further indignity on this 18-year-old African American disabled victim. What happened to this innocent Black victim screaming in a cold storage closet of locker room at a public high school didn’t matter to the prosecutor. It didn’t matter to the town’s football team.  The victim’s lifelong trauma didn’t matter to the judge, who shouted insulting accusations at the victim’s parents in open … Continue Reading ››