Posts Tagged ‘Add new tag’

Autism Speaks ‘I am Autism’: A short response.

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

Since time immemorial, people with disabilities, whether mental or physical, have been the subject of scorn, ridicule, fear, demonization, intolerance, ostracism, social and economic marginalization, and, all too often, outright indifference – These practices have been universal and no nation on earth is guilt free (Beverly & Alvarez, 2003).

The current campaign being run by Autism Speaks perpetuates these age old practices on every level and is a step back into the veritable dark ages of the experience of disability (bearing in mind disabled people have only just come into the light). In a turn out for the books even the USA, Autism Speaks’ own home country has recently signed The UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, which by the way the ‘I am Autism’ video directly contravenes.

See for example Article 7.3:
States Parties shall ensure that children with disabilities have the right to express their views freely on all matters affecting them, their views being given due weight in accordance with their age and maturity, on an equal basis with other children, and to be provided with disability and age-appropriate assistance to realize that right.

In ‘developed’ countries the disability rights movement has history spaning over 50 years, a movement that has fought for the rights of people with disabilities, having them enshrined in law, further, demanding social, cultural and economic changes that enable full participation in society. Implicit in the actions of this rights movement is the fundamental idea that people with disabilities are in fact equal as human beings not, lesser beings, animal- like, feeble, immoral, defective or subjects of demonic possession (some of the preferred terms of the 19th and early 20th centuries). Autism Speaks members seem to have been sleeping whilst the enlightenment occurred because they don’t seem to understand the fundamental rights of all people to live is a society free from discrimination and in particular hate speech. Replace the word autism in the video ‘I am Autism’ with any other characteristic or condition experienced by the human race and there would be outrage. Disabled people feel that often their experience is last frontier in terms of discrimination; if this is the case then autism remains a further frontier within the last frontier.

WILD poem

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008



Somewhere between a lifetime

and the blink of an eye.

Knowledge brought forth

enlivens weary bodies

as minds quicken to the new.

Stories told

open hearts

and whisper to the unspoken.


Underneath and in between

the liminal is building the beautiful.


creeps in like a slow morning mist,

bears down with the weight of years,

is metered out in slow unfoldings

and overwhelming waves.


The now is here to touch,

taste, breath, sing, dance,

chant, whisper, sign, revere,

behold, love, and be thankful for.

The past and the future

hold nothing

for this moment is everything

as will be the next.


To dream, to create

a single consciousness,

one point

from which understanding flows.

An intersection

of the hearts, minds and souls

of many women

of many nations,

many paths travelled

to the now. 



Monday, August 11th, 2008

Tomorrow I head to WILD08. Yesterday I was spending time with family and it was interesting to see things through their eyes. My Nanna is proud – she watched the you tube video of the previous WILD – I don’t know how much she could see as she now has Macular Degeneration. She asked me if I was the only person with autism going and I said I was and she said she thought that was big responsibility. I said I was worried about the hugging – my Aunty and my Nanna noted that there was a lot of hugging on the You Tube Video. My mother has entered the world of web 2.0 and the internet at large – she now has a facebook, a blog and a wiki. I am sure she will catch up with this blog at some stage. Jeremy (my brother, also Autistic) was over from Melbourne he left early with my dad – seemed agitated, leaving is his way of coping i guess.

My step sister Amber brought Caramello Koalas for me to take overseas, good thinking!! Cadbury chocolate in a Koala shape – very Aussie. I have been trying to wrack my brain as to what to take or what people expect from an autistic woman from Australia. I have my mind – that is my biggest gift!! I will gift them some of my writing and photos. The world from my perspective.

Web music player
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