Helping with accessibility and disability activism is a lot like academia. People say that the more you learn, the less you think you know.

Well, the more that you do within accessibility, the more you realize that no one else is actually going to do it, so you have to. 1/16
This is how so many disabled activists/self-advocates end up in burnout. I find people who are doing great work, who are great allies. They've been doing this work for years without compensation. And no one's really decided to help from higher up. 2/16
They just get a pat on the back, or an award, and are told to "keep going!" and that "we need you!" And unfortunately disability advocates know this is true, because clearly they're not investing into accessibility whatsoever. They're not going to give them more resources. 3/16
So the more you work (for free), the more you realize how much there is to be done.

The more you notice that many people, even if they care on the surface, don't want be the ones to do the work. It doesn't matter as much to them because they're not affected by it. 4/16
They don't see just how little disabled people are afforded by society and by institutions, especially academic institutions.

The people who do the work see that. It's frustrating to know that most people don't even know ableism is a problem. 5/16
It feels like there is always something more to do, some more free labor to make the world more welcoming to disabled people like me. Why are so many of us so undervalued? Why do people not care? We've tried so much to make people care. 6/16
So this is what we end up with: A small group of people who basically take a free volunteer second-job who end up being completely burnt out in a few years, while everyone else praises them for it. 7/16
We met with the president of the university. I explained that the people who help with accessibility, that this isn't their job. They need compensation for what they do.

The immediate reply from the VP of diversity and inclusion was "we need you! Please don't quit." 8/16
It wasn't "We hear you" and it wasn't "You're right, we need to give you all more resources." It wasn't any of that.

It was essentially "please keep doing free labor to make our university more accessible." 9/16
I wasn't even referring to myself, I was talking about people who've done this for several years already who've worked tirelessly, who get "service awards" but don't get paid for their 2nd job. 10/16
Maybe the institution should've thought about all of the "good work" we do and instead of telling us to keep doing it, actually give us money and resources to help the campus.

Create more jobs to be proactive in accessibility and to add disability consultants to projects. 11/16
These are well-intentioned people who want this campus to be more accessible. But telling us to "keep doing what we're doing" isn't good enough.

I want to see real change with this new president. And people say "well COVID caused budget cuts" 12/16
If anything you should be investing MORE into accessibility specifically because of the pandemic, and because disabled students are the ones who are struggling right now, who still haven't gotten their accommodations from ableist professors. 13/16
It seems as though every time we take a step forward we take two steps back. You know why? Because disability isn't considered on a university level. They just eliminated the pass/fail option for this term. That affects disabled students. Do you think that was considered? 14/16
It's not enough for people to care. It's really not. You can care all you want, but if you don't give us the resources, if you don't put disabled people in positions of power where they are (and this is important) actually listened to, you're not going to get real change. 15/16
It's not enough for people to care.

You have to do something about it.

Seriously, do something about it. For us. 16/16

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More from @AspieHuman

21 Nov
Right when this trailer came out, in terms of not casting a disabled actor, it reminded me a lot of the movie Wonder and how I felt when that child actor was proudly smiling at an awards show for a nomination.

And it reminds me of what was said in #Disclosure 1/8
In Disclosure, trans women talk about how violence against them is perpetuated especially by cis men actors playing trans women. On stage, accepting awards, they were cis men. They were "pretending to be women." When Laverne Cox stands on a stage for an award she is a woman. 2/8
Not in the same way, but parallel, disability is looked at in acting as pretending. That child actor in Wonder wasn't ever going to accept that award with a facial difference. He was going to go about his life without dealing with the ableism that he faces in the movie. 3/8
Read 9 tweets
20 Nov
I am the Chair of the Board of @NeuroClastic

I don't mention it a lot because I find that if I mention the association, my posts are less likely to be shared.

I hate that Neuroclastic has not gotten the publicity as a nonprofit organization that it deserves. 1/
I hate that the work of @NeuroClastic and Terra Vance specifically has not been acknowledged in helping #FreeMatthewRushin, who recently obtained a conditional pardon (and who is still pushing to get him home sooner than Spring 2021). 2/
Neuroclastic has so many articles that deconstruct ABA therapy, promote voices of autistic people who have been through ABA therapy, and break down common autism myths such as functioning labels or autistic people "lacking empathy." 3/
Read 10 tweets
20 Nov
@Imani_Barbarin I'm so tired of being pissed off about people not listening to autistic people. So tired.
@Imani_Barbarin I want coverage of important shit by autistic people that neurotypicals could support.

Instead we're just constantly having to be like "maybe you should've listened to us instead of creating this ableist media?" all. the. damn. time.
@Imani_Barbarin I'm pushing this exposing ABA documentary to get funded right now. It's raised $200 since it was posted, at least something good is going to come out of this ridiculousness:
Read 4 tweets
20 Nov
@Sia @leslieodomjr @maddieziegler @JoshThomas87 @KaylaCromer17 Instead of feeling sad, use that emotion to actually think about what you can do to address the autistic community, acknowledge the damage that lack of representation does to communities, and support autistic actors (esp. autistic BIPOC) who want to break into this industry.
@Sia @leslieodomjr @maddieziegler @JoshThomas87 @KaylaCromer17 We don't doubt you did research. Unfortunately it's easy as a non autistic person to get sucked into organizations that don't represent us (such as child of mind institute). Acknowledge that too many people speak for us instead of boosting our voices. And then boost our voices.
@Sia @leslieodomjr @maddieziegler @JoshThomas87 @KaylaCromer17 If you don't talk to the autistic community, if you don't hire autistic people, you're not going to get it right. The same as with any physical disability. If you don't talk to people with that experience, if you only talk to caregivers & NTs with good intentions, it won't work.
Read 11 tweets
20 Nov
Apparently tomorrow is Transgender Day of Remembrance.

I'm currently too busy thinking about Disability Day of Mourning & about the high rate of suicide among autistic adults, about the poverty, medical debt, and homelessness happening right now in the disability community. 1/4
There's quite an overlap with trans and disabled people, and I'm sure BIPOC are struggling even more who have these identities.

I don't have the emotional energy to think about TDoR right now. I try to donate to people on here who are in need and there are just so many. 2/4
Thinking about the autistic people and disabled people in general who are under so much stress, who can't take a break from their situation, who are dealing with mental health crises. I don't want our deaths to go up because society didn't accommodate us. I'm worried for us. 3/4
Read 4 tweets
16 Sep
So Chris Rock is autistic.

"His decision to seek meaningful help..by a friend’s suggestion he may have Asperger’s. It prompted a nine-hour battery of cognitive tests earlier this year, from which doctors diagnosed Rock with a condition called nonverbal learning disorder" 1/3
"or NVLD. As he’s come to understand it, he has tremendous difficulty with non-verbal signals — which doesn’t sound too drastic until, as he explains, you consider that some 80 percent of communication is nonverbal. "And all I understand are the words," he says." 2/3
Of course, even when it's a celebrity, someone who's not a white cis man can't get an autism diagnosis. #DisabilityTooWhite 3/3
Read 6 tweets

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