Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Today Is World Autism Awareness Day

Today is World Autism Awareness Day.

A couple of days before this day, I was at University of Michigan, giving a talk called Autistic Activism in an Age of the Blues.

If you click on the name of the talk, above, you can see my description of it that the Department of English Language and Literature put forth for people to use in order to decide if they wanted to come.  The basic idea was to explain the background, or rhetorical genealogy, of lighting it up blue, starting with the onset of puzzle piece as a shorthand way to represent our people.

None of it has much to do with our actual people, or anything real about us. 

The turnout was first of all so many people I was surprised! And second of all--this part is not so surprising because I am getting used to paying more attention to real life than to media representation--full of lovely people. To hear the ad campaigns and the news and the researchers that get funded by the right kind of corporations tell it, everyone thinks I'm a tragic burden from fearsville, pityland.

In real life, I go around in the world keeping meeting a diffuse divergent kaleidoscopic spectrum of the wide world of wonderful.

Rock on, real life.  Especially Michiganders.

One of the many Rockin' People is the emerging technologies librarian Patricia F. Anderson of University of Michigan, and I'm mentioning her in particular (hi there :) ) because she made this wonderful thing, a Storify, where you can read the things I was saying at the talk that she and others picked up and Live Tweeted by writing them quickly on Twitter right when I said them. Multi-tasking Heroics! AND THEN! She put links to the real things we were talking about, like Tone It Down Taupe, so you can easily look it up.

Also when you are on there on her Storify page you can see other talks she went to and did this. It is fun.

Here's that link now, in case you want to see more details about what we talked about: The Awesome Storify Narration of the Michigan Talk.

So the lovely people and I talked about all sorts of things, like neuroqueering, and being a mother, and our own families, and school, and subversive ways Autistics deal with stigma, and how all the ways of being neurodivergent are not that different from one another...and so much more.

Take that, Stigma Awareness. I'll be aware of Acceptance, Appreciation and Awesomeness instead.



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    1. Elizabeth J. (Ibby) GraceApril 4, 2014 at 8:00 AM
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  2. In real life, I go around in the world keeping meeting a diffuse divergent kaleidoscopic spectrum of the wide world of wonderful.

    Rock on, real life.

    That. A million times, that. I find it so easy to go crashing down the rabbit hole online. But then there are the PEOPLE all around and about us and WITH us and supporting us and loving us and yes, yes, yes, that.


  3. Oh how I wish I could have come to your talk! I hope you will visit Ann Arbor again soon for another one. I've never met your friend Melanie, though I admire her work from afar. My hubby sometimes sees her riding the bus when he's on his way to work. He noticed her neurodiversity buttons and asked me if I had any idea who she was.

  4. Hi spellitaut! What a cool name! We would love to see you! If I come back, how can we tell you so as to meet up?

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