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.
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 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.
Real help against the onslaught. Staying alive is a lot of work for a disabled person in an ableist society.
Anti-ableist space for passion-based, human-centered learning compatible with neurodiversity and the social model of disability.
Digital sociology, neurodiversity studies, disability studies, and syncretism, in the open. Improving science by restoring the humanities.
Stay relevant in a constantly changing world. Dismantle ableism in your spaces.
⛑ Mutual Aid: Real help against the onslaught
We pay neurodivergent and disabled people to work and live. We pay expenses like rent and medical bills as well as buy medical equipment or other necessities. Unlike most foundations, we support organizations and individuals directly, maximizing our impact in neurodivergent and disabled people’s lives and communities. Individual grantees do not have to go through third-party organizations or government agencies to access support. According to the Human Rights Funders Network in 2021, “One in seven persons in the world has a disability. Yet, grants for persons with disabilities constitute just 2% of all human rights funding.” Further, accessing these grant funds is challenging and many application processes present barriers to entry for individuals who need to apply for assistance.
We believe that direct support to individuals is the most effective approach to alleviating the barriers and challenges that prevent neurodivergent and disabled people from thriving in neurotypical and ableist environments. Our application process is simple and our direct payments have the potential to transform how neurodivergent and disabled people access philanthropic capital.
To all our neurodivergent and disabled friends and chosen family who didn’t survive the onslaught.
RIP Greg Alton, Founding Stimpunk
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
What I have always been hoping to accomplish is the creation of community. Community is magic. Community is power. Community is resistance.Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century
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
🎨 Featured Artist: Jasmine Slater
🎵 Featured Artist: Ronan Boren
Lately I’ve been feeling out of tune out of tune I don’t know why but I would like to know why And I want to get back in tune Out of tune that’s what I am Being out of tune pains my head (can’t get out of bed) Hurts from being out of tune and I just so want to get back in tune Out of tune that’s what I am out of tune
♿️📚Anti-Ableist Space for Human-Centered Learning
We also believe that the need for anti-ableist learning space for neurodivergent and disabled people is now.
We create anti-ableist space for passion-based, human-centered learning compatible with neurodiversity and the social model of disability. We create space for those most ill-served by “empty pedagogy, behaviorism, and the rejection of equity“. We create paths to equity and access for our learners so they can collaborate on distributed, multi-age, cross-disciplinary teams with a neurodiverse array of creatives doing work that impacts community.
A human-centered classroom is needed now more than ever. In a time of growing uncertainty, global challenges, and increased threats to democracy, children need space to question, reflect, and actualize a meaning to their lives. These young people, along with their educators, will build a new future of love, care, and respect for all.A Guide to Human Centric Education
Space without Behaviorism, Segregation, or Ableism
Electric Belonging and Soaring Inclusion
Passion-Based, Human-Centered Learning Compatible With Neurodiversity and the Social Model of Disability
- ♿️📚Anti-Ableist Space for Human-Centered Learning
- ♿️ The Need: Space without Behaviorism, Segregation, or Ableism
- ❤️ The Answer: Respectful Connection
- ⚡️🦅🌈 The Feeling: Electric Belonging and Soaring Inclusion
- 📚 The Learning: Passion-Based, Human-Centered Learning Compatible With Neurodiversity and the Social Model of Disability
- ⛺️🔥 Come As You Are to Cavendish Space
- ♿️⚖️ We Create Anti-Ableist Space
- 👋🧷🌳 Stimpunks Foundation Presents: Stimpunks Space
♿️ The Need: Space without Behaviorism, Segregation, or Ableism
Neurodivergent and disabled learners need anti-ableist space, and we need it now.
➗ In anti-ableist space, there is no segregation of “special”.
Although human diversity, the social model of disability and inclusion as human rights framework concepts are developing traction, for much of society the “special story” still goes like this:
A child with “special needs” catches the “special bus” to receive “special assistance” in a “special school” from “special education teachers” to prepare them for a “special” future living in a “special home” and working in a “special workshop”.
Does that sound “special” to you?
The word “special” is used to sugar-coat segregation and societal exclusion – and its continued use in our language, education systems, media etc serves to maintain those increasingly antiquated “special” concepts that line the path to a life of exclusion and low expectations.“He ain’t special, he’s my brother” – Time to ditch the phrase “special needs” – Starting With Julius
🥢🥕 In anti-ableist space, there is no behaviorism.
But even more compelling is the testimony of young people who understand the reality of this approach better than anyone because they’ve been on the receiving end of it. It is nothing short of stunning to learn just how widely and intensely ABA is loathed by autistic adults who are able to describe their experience with it. Frankly, I’m embarrassed that, until about a year ago, I was completely unaware of all the websites, articles, scholarly essays, blog posts, Facebook pages, and Twitter groups featuring the voices of autistic men and women, all overwhelmingly critical of ABA and eloquent in describing the trauma that is its primary legacy.
How is it possible that their voices have not transformed the entire discussion? Suppose you participated in implementing a widely used strategy for dealing with homelessness, only to learn that the most outspoken critics of that intervention were homeless people. Would that not stop you in your tracks? What would it say about you if it didn’t? And yet the consistent, emphatic objections of autistic people don’t seem to trouble ABA practitioners at all. Indeed, one critical analysis of ethics in this field notes that “autistics have been excluded from all committees, panels, boards, etc., charged with developing, directing, and assessing ABA research and treatment programs.”Autism and Behaviorism
Trainers are rejecting behaviorism because it harms animals emotionally and psychologically. What does that say about classrooms that embrace it?Empty Pedagogy, Behaviorism, and the Rejection of Equity
🪙 In anti-ableist space, there is no “earning your token”.
- Why I Left ABA | Socially Anxious Advocate
- I Abused Children For A Living – Diary Of A Birdmad girl
- I Abused Children And SO DO YOU: A Response To An ABA Apologist – Diary Of A Birdmad girl
- Is ABA Really “Dog Training for Children”? A Professional Dog Trainer Weighs In. » NeuroClastic
- I’m an ABA therapist, I’ve noticed a lot of the… – neurowonderful
- I’m sorry, but that’s not earning your token
- ‘Cardgate’ Scandal Uncovers Widespread Disrespect of Autistic People | NOS Magazine
- The Misbehaviour of Behaviourists
- Applied Behaviour Analysis – Personal Reflections
- Read what one autistic adult had to say the day she realised that the therapy she went through as a child was actually ABA.
🫀🧠 In anti-ableist space, we are active agents in our own embodied experience.
❤️ The Answer: Respectful Connection
Instead of behaviorism, segregation, and therapies ingrained with ableism, we practice respectful connection.
Instead of intensive speech therapy – we use a wonderful mash-up of communication including AAC, pictures scribbled on notepads, songs, scripts, and lots of patience and time.
Instead of sticker charts and time outs, or behavior therapy – we give hugs, we listen, solve problems together, and understand and respect that neurodivergent children need time to develop some skills
Instead of physical therapy – we climb rocks and trees, take risks with our bodies, are carried all day if we are tired, don’t wear shoes, paint and draw, play with lego and stickers, and eat with our fingers.
Instead of being told to shush, or be still- we stim, and mummies are joyful when they watch us move in beautiful ways.Respectfully Connected | #HowWeDo Respectful Parenting and Support
⚡️🦅🌈 The Feeling: Electric Belonging and Soaring Inclusion
🤲 We create crip space that evokes the electrifying feeling of belonging.
It is very rare, as a disabled person, that I have an intense sense of belonging, of being not just tolerated or included in a space but actively owning it; “This space,” I whisper to myself, “is for me.” Next to me, I sense my friend has the same electrified feeling. This space is for us.
Members of many marginalized groups have this shared experiential touchstone, this sense of unexpected and vivid belonging and an ardent desire to be able to pass this experience along. Some can remember the precise moment when they were in a space inhabited entirely by people like them for the first time.
Crip space is unique, a place where disability is celebrated and embraced-something radical and taboo in many parts of the world and sometimes even for people in those spaces. The idea that we need our own spaces, that we thrive in them, is particularly troubling for identities treated socially as a negative; why would you want to self-segregate with the other cripples? For those newly disabled, crip space may seem intimidating or frightening, with expectations that don’t match the reality of experience-someone who has just experienced a tremendous life change is not always ready for disability pride or defiance, needing a kinder, gentler introduction.
This is precisely why they are needed: as long as claiming our own ground is treated as an act of hostility, we need our ground. We need the sense of community for disabled people created in crip space.
How can we cultivate spaces where everyone has that soaring sense of inclusion, where we can have difficult and meaningful conversations?
Because everyone deserves the shelter and embrace of crip space, to find their people and set down roots in a place they can call home.
Source: “The Beauty of Spaces Created for and by Disabled People” by s.e. smith in “Disability Visibility: First Person Stories from the 21st Century“.
👩❤️👨 We foster the feeling of access intimacy.
Access intimacy is that elusive, hard to describe feeling when someone else “gets” your access needs. The kind of eerie comfort that your disabled self feels with someone on a purely access level. Sometimes it can happen with complete strangers, disabled or not, or sometimes it can be built over years. It could also be the way your body relaxes and opens up with someone when all your access needs are being met. It is not dependent on someone having a political understanding of disability, ableism or access. Some of the people I have experienced the deepest access intimacy with (especially able bodied people) have had no education or exposure to a political understanding of disability.
Access intimacy is also the intimacy I feel with many other disabled and sick people who have an automatic understanding of access needs out of our shared similar lived experience of the many different ways ableism manifests in our lives. Together, we share a kind of access intimacy that is ground-level, with no need for explanations. Instantly, we can hold the weight, emotion, logistics, isolation, trauma, fear, anxiety and pain of access. I don’t have to justify and we are able to start from a place of steel vulnerability. It doesn’t mean that our access looks the same, or that we even know what each other’s access needs are. It has taken the form of long talks into the night upon our first meeting; knowing glances shared across a room or in a group of able bodied people; or the feeling of instant familiarity to be able to ask for help or support.
📚 The Learning: Passion-Based, Human-Centered Learning Compatible With Neurodiversity and the Social Model of Disability
Learning is rooted in purpose finding and community relevance.
- Map a Path to Purpose
- Learn Experientially
- Connect to the Community
- Promote Literacy
- Create Cross-Disciplinary Classrooms
Social justice is the cornerstone to educational success.
- Support a Reflective Space
- Demand Inclusive Spaces
- Authenticate Student Voice
- Adopt Critical Pedagogy
- Utilize Restorative Justice
Dehumanizing practices do not belong in schools.
- Radically Reduce Homework
- Build Strong Relationships
- Eliminate Grading
- Redefine Assessment and End Testing
- Reform Food Systems
Learners are respectful toward each other’s innate human worth.
- Self-Direct Learning
- Support and Elevate Teachers
- Stay Buzzword Free
- Cooperate, Don’t Force Competition
- Support Multi-Age Classrooms
Source: The Need
⛺️🔥 Come As You Are to Cavendish Space
Since reading NeuroTribes, I think of psychologically & sensory safe spaces suited to zone work as “Cavendish bubbles” and “Cavendish space”, after Henry Cavendish, the wizard of Clapham Common and discoverer of hydrogen. The privileges of nobility afforded room for his differences, allowing him the space and opportunity to become “one of the first true scientists in the modern sense.”
Let’s build psychologically safe homes of opportunity without the requirement of nobility or privilege. Replace the trappings of the compliance classroom with student-created context, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), and BYOC (Bring/Build Your Own Comfort). Let’s hit thrift stores, buy lumber, apply some hacker ethos, and turn the compliance classroom into something psychologically safe and comfortable to a team of young minds engaged in passion-based learning. Inform spaces with neurodiversity and the social model of disability so that they welcome and include all minds and bodies. Provide quiet spaces for high memory statezone work where students can escape sensory overwhelm, slip into flow states, and enjoy a maker’s schedule. Provide social spaces for collaboration and camaraderie. Create cave, campfire, and watering hole zones. Develop neurological curb cuts. Fill our classrooms with choice and comfort, instructional tolerance, continuous connectivity, and assistive technology.
In other words, make space for Cavendish. Make spaces for both collaboration and deep work.Classroom UX: Designing for Pluralism
We provide caves, campfires, and watering holes so that dandelions, tulips, and orchids alike can find respite. Everyone has individual space as well as community spaces so that they can progressively socialize according to their interaction capacity. Caves, campfires, and watering holes are necessary to designing for neurological pluralism and providing psychological safety. They’re necessary to positive niche construction.
The campfire is a space where people gather to learn from an expert. In the days of yore, wise elders passed down insights through storytelling, and in doing so replicated culture for the next generation.Australia’s Campfires, Caves, and Watering Holes
The cave is a private space where an individual can think, reflect, and transform learning from external knowledge to internal belief.Australia’s Campfires, Caves, and Watering Holes
The cave is a private space, where students can find that much needed alone time useful for reflection on their learning or just to recharge. (a necessary space for those students with Aspergers).Campfires, Caves and Watering holes | Libraries, Youth and the Digital Age
“Some autistic people’s needs will conflict with each other. For example, some autistic people may need the TV playing to calm down, as it can help to focus on specific sounds. But for others this may cause more stress depending on their mental state. Additionally, some autistic people may need to stim to feel relaxed and comfortable, or it may be involuntary when they are stressed, but noises they make (e.g. verbal stims), could really stress another autistic person out. I think the key here is space.”“It’s Not Rocket Science” – NDTi
…positive niche construction is a strengths-based approach to educating students with disabilities. Armstrong describes positive niche construction in this way:
In the field of biology, the term niche construction is used to describe an emerging phenomenon in the understanding of human evolution. Since the days of Darwin, scientists have emphasized the importance of natural selection in evolution-the process whereby organisms better adapted to their environment tend to survive and produce more offspring. In natural selection, the environment represents a static entity to which a species must either adapt or fail to adapt. In niche construction, however, the species acts directly upon the environment to change it, thereby creating more favorable conditions for its survival and the passing on of its genes. Scientists now say that niche construction may be every bit as important for survival as natural selection (Lewontin, 2010; Odling-Smee, Laland, & Feldman, 2003).
We see many examples of niche construction in nature: a beaver building a dam, bees creating a hive, a spider spinning a web, a bird building a nest. All of these creatures are changing their immediate environment in order to ensure their survival. Essentially, they’re creating their own version of a “least restrictive environment.”Reimagining Inclusion with Positive Niche Construction
♿️⚖️ We Create Anti-Ableist Space
It is time to celebrate our interdependence! Collaboration allows us to create genuinely safe spaces for autistic and otherwise neurodivergent people. We should expect society to support us in establishing new forms of creative collaboration, and we should not be forced individually to be “included” in toxic exploitative environments.The Beauty of Collaboration at Human Scale: Timeless patterns of human limitations
We create anti-ableist space for passion-based, human-centered learning compatible with neurodiversity and the social model of disability. We create space for those most ill-served by “empty pedagogy, behaviorism, and the rejection of equity“.
From Our Philosophy
👋🧷🌳 Stimpunks Foundation Presents: Stimpunks Space
Coming in 2022, Stimpunks Space is where we actualize our philosophy.
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Please complete this simple task Push the buttons just like we ask This step first and that step last Over and over and do it fast I’m watching everyone, feeling like a simpleton Why can’t I get it done? I just want to scream and run I don’t think like you But I’m the one that’s called abnormal This construct Was built by petty tyrants
Am I on the level yet? (Level yet) How did I do on your little test? Get my brain to reset (Reset) 'Cause everything you say is static Do I make a good pet? (Good pet) Obey the commands or get the back of the hand 'Cause the world wasn’t built for a brain like mine Change my mind, change my mind, change my mind
Because we′re standing in the way of control We will live our lives -- Standing In the Way of Control
Hey, you ever stop to think that maybe we're all different? Or that you can't just throw every student into the same system Just examine resources and where they're placin' em
I'm just saying there's different students out there facing some pain It's completely unfair to expect that they would behave the same But go ahead, make it harder for one and watch them play the game
So real shit? I wrote this for the outcasts What you have to offer is worthwhile, don't ever doubt that -- Imaginary Numbers