🌈♿️ Mutual Aid and Human-Centered Learning for Neurodivergent and Disabled People

Ear readers, press play to listen to this page in the selected language.
A blue humanoid with rainbow highlights holds a floating sphere in cupped hands.
“Sphere of Humanity: A Traverse Gift of Energetic Connectedness” by Heike Blakley

Stimpunks is created by and for neurodivergent and disabled people. We provide mutual aid, learning opportunities, human-centered research, and living wages for our community. We presume competence, and we believe in self-determination.

We, Stimpunks

Accessibility note: A plainer text, plainer language, single column version of this page without images or videos is available here.

👏🧷⏰ Stimpunks in a Minute

Stimpunks Foundation challenges the typical approach to helping people who are neurodivergent or disabled. We know what it is like to live with barriers and what it means to not fit in and have to forge our own community. Stimpunks knows that neurodivergent and disabled people have human needs. We offer a humane approach to help our community thrive.

Through Stimpunks Foundation, we:

  1. Offer financial and mutual aid;
  2. Hire our community members as consultants;
  3. Provide a learning space designed for our community; and
  4. Support our community’s open research efforts.
Vector drawing of power wheelchair with rainbow umbrella

One in four U.S. adults have a disability. However, our community receives only 2% of US grant funding, and only 19% of us are employed. We can’t just let that be the truth. We have to challenge the norm and change the narrative around people who are neurodivergent or disabled.

Stimpunks Foundation seeks to do just that with our four pillars.

⛑📚 Our Pillars 🗂🧰

Mutual Aid

Real help against the onslaught. Staying alive is a lot of work for a disabled person in an ableist society.

Learning Space

The place where we belong does not exist. We will build it. Anti-ableist space for passion-based, human-centered learning compatible with neurodiversity and the social model of disability.

Open Research

Digital sociology, neurodiversity studies, disability studies, and syncretism, in the open. Improving science by restoring the humanities.

Services

Stay relevant in a constantly changing world. Dismantle ableism in your spaces. Enable dignity through access.

Black and white umbrella with a handle shaped like a capital letter U

Stimpunks Foundation sponsors and employs neurodivergent and disabled creators and amplifies their work to our clients and throughout society. We exist for the direct support and mutual aid of neurodivergent and disabled people.

We complement mutual aid to creators with learning spaces for creators. Stimpunks Foundation serves neurodivergent and disabled people unserved by public and private schools. Via equity, access, empathy, and inclusivity, we build community learning space respectful of all types of bodyminds.

We pursue passion-based, human-centered learning compatible with neurodiversity and the social model of disability. We create paths to equity and access for our learners. We create Cavendish space of peer respite and collaborative niche construction where we can find relief from an intense world designed against us.

Our research initiative focuses on the sweet spot of digital sociology, neurodiversity studies, disability studies, and syncretism, in the open. We want to improve the scientific experience for the disabled and the neurodivergent by restoring the humanities. We want to bring voice into empirical constructs and translate voice into academic comprehension.

A woman in a blue dress gazes out of a window out a window. Waves of yellow and pink expand from her gaze out into the world.
Image credit: Betsy Selvam
A blue humanoid wearing a yellow Star Trek uniform sits alone on a bench accompanied by their belongings. A space scene with a path into they sky is in the background
Image credit: Heike Blakley

We also help businesses and organizations increase their knowledge and practice of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) by analyzing company practices and coaching leaders to dismantle ableism in their spaces. According to the Harvard Business Review, “There are more than one billion people worldwide – around 15% of the population – living with a disability. As workers, they can ease talent shortages and add to the organizational diversity that drives better decision-making and innovation.” Neurodiversity-friendly forms of collaboration hold the potential to transform pathologically competitive and toxic teams and cultures into highly collaborative teams and larger cultural units that work together easier and with more success.

Our additional services include digital and physical accessibility audits, sensitivity reads, and other offerings that focus on increasing DEI in the workplace. Client services are how we live our mission to employ neurodivergent and disabled people as well as how we raise capital for grantmaking.

A blue humanoid sits cross-legged holding an Earth-like sphere
Image credit: Heike Blakley
Respect due to learning with an arsenal of permanent pillars 
Piercing through the surface of artificial services


Life Commits by Swamburger

Our four pillars rest on the four pillars of the ADA.

  • Equal Opportunity
  • Independent Living
  • Full Participation
  • Economic Self-Sufficiency

In 1990, the ADA, which today remains the cornerstone of disability civil rights law in the United States, established four goals for disabled Americans: equal opportunity, independent living, full participation, and economic self-sufficiency.

Economic Justice Is Disability Justice
Here’s a mind map of our pillars and philosophy.

🤘 Testimonials

“Stimpunks is an essential resource for educators.”

Ira Socol, co-author of Timeless Learning

Timeless Learning” is a fundamental text of progressive pedagogy and an important part of our journey at Stimpunks. It helped us develop our notions of classroom UX, toolbelt theory, caves, campfires, and watering holes, and more.

More About Timeless Learning
close up photo of mushrooms

When learning is allowed to be project, problem, and passion driven, then children learn because of their terroir, not disengage in spite of it. When we recognize biodiversity in our schools as healthy, then we increase the likelihood that our ecosystems will thrive.

To be contributors to educating children to live in a world that is increasingly challenging to negotiate, schools must be ​conceptualized as ecological communities, spaces for learning with the potential to embody all of the concepts of the ecosystem – interactivity, biodiversity, connections, adaptability, succession, and balance. 

Timeless Learning: How Imagination, Observation, and Zero-Based Thinking Change Schools
multicolored umbrella

Creating paths to equity and access for all children remains the grand challenge of public education in America.

Equity provides resources so that educators can see all our children’s strengths. Access provides our children with the chance to show us who they are and what they can do. Empathy allows us to see children as children, even teens who may face all the challenges that poverty and other risk factors create. Inclusivity creates a welcoming culture of care so that no one feels outside the community.

Timeless Learning: How Imagination, Observation, and Zero-Based Thinking Change Schools

Sadly though, the social, political, and economic narrative of schooling in the past has been grounded in a “soft eugenics” belief that while some children have the capacity to become whatever they choose to be in life, others do not. This plays out in the decisions that educators make, often based on decontextualized data and confirmation biases that stem from immersion in traditions of education that did the same to us. Even if lip service is given to words such as equity, accessibility, inclusivity, empathy, cultural responsiveness, and connected relationships, schooling today is still far more likely to support practices from the past that have created school cultures in which none ​of those words define who educators really are, no matter what they aspire to be.

Consider how the “habitable world” concept developed by Rosemarie Garland‐Thomson, Emory University researcher and professor, sits at the core of the philosophy of educators who developed and now sustain the structures and processes of schooling that impact young people such as Kolion (Garland‐Thomson 2017b). Garland‐Thomson views public, political, and organizational philosophy as representative of one of “two forms of world‐building, inclusive and eugenic” (Garland‐Thomson 2017a). Unfortunately, often it’s the soft educational eugenics philosophy that is most often expressed in practice, if not in words, across the nation’s schools rather than the creation of habitable worlds that are inclusive of all learners.

If we want our schools to be learning ​spaces that reveal the strengths of children to us, we have to create a bandwidth of opportunities that do so. That means making decisions differently, decisions driven from values that support equity, accessibility, inclusivity, empathy, cultural responsiveness, and connected relationships inside the ecosystem. Those are the words representative of habitable worlds, not words such as sort, select, remediate, suspend, or fail.

Timeless Learning: How Imagination, Observation, and Zero-Based Thinking Change Schools
A rocket ship flying across the screen with 3 thick red lines as its trail.

Human Restoration Project

An astronaut in a spacesuit reclines on a crescent moon while holding an open book in one hand and a steaming coffee/tea cup in the other hand. Steam coming of the cup forms the text: "The future needs you!"
An astronaut with a graduation cap looking into the distance.

“Stimpunks is a creative, thriving community that is vital to connecting and learning. We must critically examine our classrooms to build neurodiverse-friendly spaces. Stimpunks gives us the tools to do so.”

Human Restoration Project

Neurodiversity is one of the most powerful ideas of our generation. Human Restoration Project understands the importance of neurodiversity and disability in an era of mass behaviorism and unvarnished eugenics. They are true allies in the fight for the right to live and learn differently.

HRP’s vision for human-centered education is compatible with neurodiversity, the social model of disability, and human dignity. They understand that sharing power fosters self-determination, something dearly important to our community of neurodivergent and disabled people.

Human Restoration Project
The future needs you.

Illustration of children pursuing their interests, including puppets, planes, astronomy, and reading.
A Celebration of the Wonderous Joy of Childhood Imagination and the Power of Play
Artist: Farimah Khavarii
More About Human Restoration Project

Human Restoration Project is informingguiding, and growing a movement toward a progressive, human-centered education system. We are bringing together a network of radical educators who are transforming classrooms across the world.

About Human Restoration Project

At Stimpunks, we choose the margin, because design is tested at the edges. HRP likewise designs for those of us at the margins. That’s because they have joined us at the edges. They show up. They listen. They integrate. They practice good allyship.

This is exemplified throughout their work, including the implementation of the Conference to Restore Humanity, a conference model for the future compatible with us Stimpunks like no other. No one else includes us like HRP.

Conference to Restore Humanity! is an annual, designed-for-virtual conference centering progressive education, social justice, and preserving the humanity of classrooms. We strive to bring together the radicals reimagining their classroom spaces and demanding for a just future.

Conference to Restore Humanity

Reframing is a big part of our advocacy. Reframing ourselves and others is hard and important work necessary to all other work.

“The long-term well-being and empowerment of Autistics and members of other neurocognitive minority groups hinges upon our ability to create a paradigm shift – a shift from the pathology paradigm to the neurodiversity paradigm.”

Dr. Nick Walker

HRP helps create this paradigm shift with their handbooks and why sheets. HRP’s materials help us reframe people as we journey through our systems.

Finding HRP was like finding an oasis. They understand, and they help.

100 Seconds to Midnight: The Need for a Human-Centered Education

Stimpunks is gently debugging society.

The charity protects, helps and comforts individuals, while pointing out library-level flaws in some of the concepts that end up harming those individuals.

This help is profoundly wonderful, morally and functionally coherent to great need, and as true as a pure circle in its cause-and-effect form.

AJ Wool

Thank you so much @stimpunks for supporting & believing in me & my artwork.

It’s okay to be you. It’s okay to be different. It’s okay to have a disability. Never give up on yourself.

Jasmine Slater

If y’all care about me, read what @stimpunks is saying.

Liana McCrea

Huge thank you to @stimpunks for this generator so if we lose power, the oxygen concentrator can still run! I can’t thank you enough!!

Karrie Higgins
Black mother and daughter holding hands and wearing sparkly crowns and ball gowns
Artist: Jasmine Slater

☂️ Our Umbrella: Are You a Stimpunk?

Disability and neurodivergence are broad umbrellas that include many people, possibly you. The neurodivergent umbrella includes a diversity of inherent and acquired differences and spiky profiles. Many neurodivergent people don’t know they are neurodivergent. With our website and outreach, we help people get in touch with their neurodivergent and disabled identities. We respect and encourage self-diagnosis and community diagnosis. #SelfDxIsValid, and our website can help you understand your ways of being.

If you are wondering whether you are Autistic, spend time amongst Autistic people, online and offline.  If you notice you relate to these people much better than to others, if they make you feel safe, and if they understand you, you have arrived.

A communal definition of Autistic ways of being

Requiring diagnosis was counter to trans liberation and acceptance. The exact same is true of Autism.

Dr. Devon Price

Self diagnosis is not just “valid” — it is liberatory. When we define our community ourselves and wrest our right to self-definition back from the systems that painted us as abnormal and sick, we are powerful, and free.

Dr. Devon Price

Though our direct aid focuses on neurodivergent and disabled people, anyone can be a Stimpunk. All neurotypes welcome. All abilities welcome. All bodyminds welcome. Allies welcome!

The Neurodivergent Umbrella (non-exhaustive)
  • ADHD
  • DID & OSDD
  • ASPD 
  • BPD
  • NPD
  • Dyslexia 
  • CPTSD
  • Dyspraxia 
  • Sensory Processing 
  • Dyscalculia 
  • PTSD
  • Dysgraphia
  • Tourette’s Syndrome
  • Stuttering & Cluttering
  • Anxiety & Depression
  • Personality Disorders/Conditions
  • Bipolar
  • Autism
  • Epilepsy 
  • OCD
  • ABI
  • Tic Disorders 
  • Schizophrenia 
  • Misophonia 
  • HPD
  • Down Syndrome 
  • Synesthesia
  • Panic Disorders/Conditions
  • Developmental Language Disorder/Condition
  • Developmental Co-ordination Disorder/Condition

It is time to celebrate our interdependence!

The notion of disability in our society is underscored by a bizarre conception of “independence”.

It is time to celebrate our interdependence!

Collaboration allows us to create genuinely safe spaces for autistic and otherwise neurodivergent people.

The Myth of Independence: How The Social Model of Disability Exposes Society’s Double Standards » NeuroClastic

To face the challenges of the future, we’ll need the problem-solving abilities of different types of minds working together.

The Best Autism Books, recommended by Steve Silberman
Hard plastic toy of Hamlion, a Randimal that combines a hamster and a lion

“What makes us different, makes all the difference in the world.” —Randimals

Hamlion says, “To face the challenges of the future, we’ll need the problem-solving abilities of different types of minds working together.”

Pluralism is our reality.

A multicoloured sphere showing examples of neurodiversity. Neurotypicality along with a selection of neurodivergent conditions are listed: Developmental Co-ordination Disorder/Condition, Personality Disorders/Conditions, Developmental Language Disorder/Condition, Bipolar Disorder/Condition, Anxiety and Depression, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder/Condition, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder/Condition, Autism, Stuttering and Cluttering, Tourette’s syndrome and Tics, Panic Disorders/Conditions, Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Dyscalculia.
Image source: MetaArXiv Preprints | Bridging Neurodiversity and Open Scholarship: How Shared Values Can Guide Best Practices for Research Integrity, Social Justice, and Principled Education; License: CC-By Attribution 4.0 International
Abstract, algorithmic art resembling a mothership lifting off on rainbow propulsion
Artist: AJ Wool

I intended to represent ND as I made it. I wanted the colors to be the illuminates of the greater intricate whole crystal. I wanted to make something beautiful and detailed with the colors representing myself, and you, and all the people who would want to be those colored sections. Even though the homogeneous black sections are the majority, they are not the entire body. The entire bodymind includes us, with our wounds, our flaws and our sometimes uncharacterizable spiky profiles.

AJ Wool

Do you know why we have the sunflowers?

Close up of sunflower
Do you know why we have the sunflowers?

Do you know why we have the sunflowers? It’s not because Vincent van Gogh suffered. It’s because Vincent van Gogh had a brother who loved him. Through all the pain, he had a tether, a connection to the world. And that is the focus of the story we need. Connection.

Hannah Gadsby: Nanette
Oil painting of sunflowers in a vase
Sunflowers (F453)
Oil painting of sunflowers in a vase
Sunflowers (F454)
Oil painting of sunflowers in a vase
Sunflowers (F459)

Whether neurodivergent, disabled, or an ally, being a Stimpunk means reframing.

We center the edges in service to all bodyminds.

Join us!

Asking for help is a wonderful way to build community & engage in meaningful collaboration. In asking for help you also uplift others who want to show up for you.

JUST A REMINDER THAT ASKING FOR HELP IS A CONTRIBUTION

🫀🧠🖼 We Reframe

Abstract algorithmic art where a butterfly is made out of butterflies
Image Credit: Adriel Wool

Challenge the norm and change the narrative by reframing.

Reframe these states of being that have been labelled deficiencies or pathologies as human differences.

Normal Sucks: Author Jonathan Mooney on How Schools Fail Kids with Learning Differences

Content note: Our website includes music, lyrics, writing, and art that address ableism, eugenics, exclusion, mental health, depression, dysphoria, behaviorism, abuse, chronic pain, and death. There are a few swear words in quoted materials.

Also included is an outpouring of neurodivergent and disabled perspective, culture, and joy.

Ready, Punk? Rock onward!

Hey girlfriend
I got a proposition, goes something like this
Dare ya to do what you want
Dare ya to be who you will
Dare ya to cry right out loud
"You get so emotional, baby"

Double dare ya, double dare ya

Double Dare Ya by Bikini Kill

Rights, rights? You do have rights!

Double Dare Ya by Bikini Kill

We have protests to stage, driven by the fuel of our righteous anger. We have speeches to make, written from the soaring pleas of our individual and collective trauma, and our wildest dreams of joy and freedom and love. We have cultural narratives to rewrite because they really do hate us and they really will kill us, and if we’re going to rewrite the narratives, then there’s no reason to hold ourselves back from our most radical and defiant rewritings. We have autistic children who need us to support them as architects of their own liberation against the schools and clinicians and institutions and police and prosecutors who would crush and destroy them.

We’re going to need our anger and our public celebrations of stimming and our complicated, imperfect, messy selves for this long and hard road, because we need all of us, and all of our tactics and strategies, to keep a movement going and ultimately, to win.

Autistic Hoya — A blog by Lydia X. Z. Brown: The neurodiversity movements needs its shoes off, and fists up.

We’re going to rewrite the narratives.

Ordinary tried to fix me
I was a threat to a page in history
Miss me with the treatment, doo-wop bleaching
Straighten my kinky with a new pop legion (That's right)

It's just me and my MPC
Questing out to meet my tribe unique
Keep it funky for the followers eager to speak
The same dialect is on when we greet in the street, fam
Why would my sound be tampered?
Or better yet, watered down and then pampered?
Cater to who, I influence the standard
Check it… we 'bout to change some manners

Talent by Swamburger and Scarlet Monk of Mugs and Pockets

Reframe with Us

Not having the vocabulary to understand yourself and your loved ones is a tragedy. Our story of reframing continues via the “Continue” button at the bottom of each page in the journey.

Next on our journey: “Reframe Disability and Difference: We’re Going to Rewrite the Narratives

Print Friendly, PDF & Email