“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”
NOS Magazine is rooted in the ideas and activism of the neurodiversity movement. I believe that there are many different kinds of brains in our world, and that’s not a bad thing! The neurodiversity movement is about recognizing the legitimacy of different kinds of minds, including those belonging to autistic people, people with ADD/HD, dyslexia, bipolar, Down syndrome and many others. As a part of the disability rights movement, neurodiversity is about fighting for inclusion, legitimacy, accommodation and equality of opportunity for people with all different kinds of brains. I believe:
- Autistic people and people with neurological, developmental, intellectual, psychological and other disabilities have a right to support, inclusion and choice.
- The focus of societal attention and resources should be to secure those rights and to improve our quality of life, rather than seeking eugenic prevention or ‘cures.’
- All people with disabilities have a right to be supported with dignity in the communities which we live.
- Institutionalization can and should be a thing of the past.
- People with disabilities have the right to be supported to be a part of inclusive schools, workplaces and communities.
- We should be able to see ourselves in our culture and media in a representative way, not through ‘very special episodes’ that present us as objects of pity, burden or inspiration porn.
- The disability research agenda should better reflect the priorities of those it was created for—people with disabilities ourselves.
- Ethical, legal and social issues in disability research should be addressed and discussed, in order to prevent the profound suffering and loss of human dignity we faced in the 20th century.
- The neurodiversity movement is about not just political advocacy, but also the emergence of a culture and communal identity of, by and for people with different kinds of minds.