🫀🧠✊ About Us: A Feisty Group of Disabled People

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Stimpunks is a community affair. We’re Autistic, ADHD, OCD, PTSD, Tourette’s, schizophrenic, bipolar, apraxic, dyslexic, dyspraxic, dyscalculic, non-speaking, and more. We’ve collectively experienced rare diseases, organ transplants, various cancers, many surgeries and therapies, and lots of ableism and SpEd. We’ve experienced #MedicalAbleism, #MedicalMisogyny, #MedicalRacism#MedicalTrauma, and #MedicalGaslighting. We understand chronic pain, chronic illness, and the #NEISvoid “No End In Sight Void”. We know what it’s like to be disabled and different in our systems. 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. Disabled and neurodivergent people are always edge cases, and edge cases are stress cases. We can help you design for the edges, because we live at the edges. We are the canaries. We are “the fish that must fight the current to swim upstream.

A disembodied arm with blue skin and a self-care tattoo flashes the sign of the horns
Rock N’ Roller by Kyle Duce
Have you ever taken flack from the bullies on attack
Cause you're different

They laugh and call you names
But that ain't no badge of shame
Just cause you're different

People gonna stare, you unsettle them and scare ’em
Cause we're different
Walking down the street
When you pass they
Take a peek
There's something different

Live your life outside the box
Blow off all the empty talk
They focus on the things you're not
Just walk your walk

And roll your roll

Vector drawing of power wheelchair with rainbow umbrella
A middle aged white man dressed in purple pants and bright colored coat and wearing sunglasses, beanie hat, and a face mask sits in a power wheelchair
Ryan in his power wheelchair that he calls “The Stimroller”
Clip of Judith Heumann speaking the text in the quote.

I wanna see a feisty group of disabled people around the world…if you don’t respect yourself and if you don’t demand what you believe in for yourself, you’re not gonna get it.

Judith Heumann

Administrivia

Before we get feisty, here are a couple administrative about pages.

Okay, feisty time.

Ryan Boren (he/they)

Ryan is a former WordPress lead developer who retired from tech in 2021 after 15 years at Automattic, the distributed company he helped start. He finished his time at Automattic working on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team and helping create and run the Neurodiversity Employee Resource Group. Building a community, a company, a platform, and an ERG was an intense ride full of mistakes and learning that Ryan distills into Stimpunks.

Portrait photo of a white man white a short beard and short hair and dark-rimmed glasses
Chronic Neurodivergent Depressed Queer Punk: Punk Rock, the Social Model of Disability, and the Dream of the Accepting Community

Ryan is a Chronic Neurodivergent Depressed Queer Punk who found community amidst online genderpunks, neuropunks, and cripplepunks conversant in the social model of disability. That community and connection gave rise to the name of our endeavor, Stimpunks. “Everything that was normally supposed to be hidden was brought to the front.

Inna Boren (she/her)

A white woman with gray hair and glasses poses in front of prickly pear cactus

Inna went from big tech project manager to family case worker. Her skills managing software and hardware teams are now used to manage teams of doctors, care workers, and educators. She’s our motive force as we “fight the current to swim upstream.”

Ronan Boren (he/him)

Ronan loves music, particularly The Beatles. He writes the lyrics for Josephmooon, a distributed musical collaboration.

Two humans in Futuristic helmets and star covered jackets pose side by side

Chase Boren (he/him)

Chase is a fantasy, history, and social studies buff who is probably reading right now.

Black and white cat yawning with ears flattened back and teeth exposed.

Chelsea Adams (she/her)

A white woman with short hair and clear glasses smiles at the camera

Chelsea served as a combat medic in the United States Army for 6 years. After leaving the army in 2014 she went back to school with the goal of getting her nursing degree. During this time she worked on the oncology floor of St. Davids South Austin. She decided to go in a different direction career wise and currently is pursuing non profit work. Her goal is to continue her passion of helping people.

Becky Hicks (she/her)

Becky Hicks is an Art Director at HM Advertising. She has almost 30 years experience in advertising, designing for print, web and styling and directing photo shoots. In her free time she runs the Algiers Point Free lil Pantry and entertains her pet pig, Coco Chanel.

A white woman with long curly hair and tortoise glasses gazes neutrally at the camera, giving serious punk rock vibes
Portrait of a dark haired pig wearing a purple hat with gold trim and yellow and green ribbins
Coco

Coco’s Setlist

A dark-haired pig a light-haired Shih Tau dog sleep side-by-side on a round pet bed. The pig is wrapped in a blanket with her snout sticking out.
A dark-haired pig a light-haired Shih Tau dog sleep side-by-side on a round pet bed. The pig is wrapped in a blanket with her snout sticking out.

Kristina Brooke Daniele (she/her)

A Black woman with dark glasses and a colorful head wrap smiles at the camera with a cover in "Cvil Rights Then & Now" in the background

Kristina Brooke Daniele is a Black, queer, neurodivergent homeschooling mom, educator, wife, and author of two books, (Civil Rights Then and Now and i wandered, lost: poems). Kristina has worked as an educator in some capacity for over 15 years- first as a classroom teacher, then as a homeschooling teacher, and currently, as an education consultant. She is passionate about collaborative projects centering on creating and maintaining safe-spaces for those who have for too long been pushed aside. During her time at Automattic, Kristina spearheaded the creation of the Employee Resource Group, Cocoamattic for Black employees at the company.

Kristina enjoys reading speculative fiction, write tales of romance, build homes and design apartments in The Sims 4, peacefully commune with ancient lands in Age of Empires, dabble in various arts and crafts, and spend time with her family.

Jasmine Slater (she/her)

Jasmine is a 35 year old mother of 2 boys. She was a server for 16 years before the pandemic. She has always been very passionate about helping others & knows that is her purpose here in this life. She is a creative that has bipolar disorder & Neuropathy. She enjoys writing, painting & making others smile. While attending ISU years ago, she had a blog on international events that detailed human rights atrocities.

Cayden Ward (he/him)

Cayden is an 11 year old student. He is very kindhearted and passionate about the well-being of others. He loves to make other people feel equal & not alone. He goes above & beyond by making care packages for others with Caring With Cayden. His desire to put forth philanthropist efforts in the community will hopefully inspire others to do the same.

A Black Mother with long hair and her Black child with short hair smile at the camera

Adriel Jeremiah Wool (he/him)

Adriel Jeremiah is an computer programmer with a deep background in origami and folding.

This artwork is an extension of a world view involving folding; often involving higher dimensional spaces.

Many of these designs contain the mathematical magic of the transcendental numbers of nature, and all of them are the extension of the provisions of space itself; to be both physically folded, and conceptually folded, circularily (sic) and across many levels of expression.

Daniel Zayas (he/him)

Daniel Zayas is an FAU alumni with a degree in Economics, who’s interests include permaculture and mycology. He has worked with the American Cancer Society and Live Like Bella non-profit organizations, along with experience in residential and agricultural construction. His experience demonstrates his qualities of being a hard worker with a big heart.

Brandi Cerna (she/her)

A Latinx woman smiles at the camera with a parrot on her shoulder

Brandi Cerna served as a public-school educator for 9 years and is currently enrolled in a full-time nursing program. She will graduate in April 2023 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Brandi desires to provide quality care and help people feel valued.

Heike Blakley (she/her)

Heike Blakley is a self-taught, emerging artist working with a wide array of mediums such as acrylic, oil, watercolor, pencil, charcoal, pastel, mixed media, pen & ink.

Also specializing in resin art, jewelry making, woodwork, clay sculptures, fabric art and poetry.

A long-haired brown-skinned woman wearing a beanie hat and a smiley face shirt gazes off camera

Using her creativity as a form of learning and for meditative purposes, she is determined to, “absorb as much “collective knowledge,” as she is able to grasp in one lifetime and effectively communicate understanding through art.”

Heike gains inspiration through spirituality, the conscious/ subconscious mind, studying esoteric natures of the universe, her interactions with others, the environment as well as understanding herself.

Combining surrealism, figure, abstract, textured, fine and visual art, she describes her process as “eclectic art”.

Kyle Duce (he/him)

White man with short hair and beard wearing a denim jackets gazes directly at the camera

Raised between the San Juan Mountains of Colorado and a small farming community in Wisconsin, Kyle gained an appreciation of the land, wildlife and the beauty of nature.  Kyle grew up as a 3rd generation artist, his grandfather was an oil painter and his mother ran a stained glass business out of their home in Wisconsin.  There was no shortage of art projects, outdoor activities, hunting, fishing, camping and gardening.  Post college, Kyle traveled and moved back to Colorado, Seattle and now Austin.  He has been living in downtown cities since college.  The clash of these two timelines reflects the duality expression in most of his work. This duality can also be seen through his passion for the skate, snow, music, tattoo and architecture world.

Kyle Duce’s work ties in these elements to showcase his broad range of skill sets from landscape, sculpture, music inspired live painting, taxidermy, and lowbrow styles.  Kyle’s main goal is to evoke emotion when looking deeper into his paintings.  Finding that balance between the serenity of the outdoors and the fast-paced gritty city living.

White man making spray paint art

Betsy Selvam (she/her)

Betsy Selvam is an artist from Vellore, south India. Currently pursuing her PhD, Betsy has had a lifelong passion for literature and art. As a neurodivergent artist, Betsy hopes to use art and writing for positive change. She has been published in The Blue Marble Review, Oyster River Pages and Door is a Jar, among other places, for her work.

A brown-skinned woman with short black hair smiles at the camera

What makes us different, makes all the difference in the world.

Randimals

Our friends at Randimals have a saying,

What makes us different, makes all the difference in the world.

Randimals

We agree.

Many years ago, a friend dubbed Ryan “Bearmouse”, intuiting a part of his neurodivergent spiky profile.

Drawing of a Bearmouse: combination bear + mouse
Bearmouse

There is consensus regarding some neurodevelopmental conditions being classed as neurominorities, with a ‘spiky profile’ of executive functions difficulties juxtaposed against neurocognitive strengths as a defining characteristic.

Neurominorities, Spiky Profiles, and the Biopsychosocial Model at Work

Inna decided on Bunnybadger and Chelsea decided on Pandillo. Their Randimals also hint at their neurodivergent profiles.

Bunnybadger
Pandillo

Image credit: Stimpunk Becky Hicks

Our Randimals capture our exposure anxiety, social anxiety, rejection sensitive dysphoria, emotional sunburn, very grand emotions, sense of justice, and other neurodivergent traits.

Read about Randimals, spiky profiles, learning terroir, neurological pluralism and Weird Pride on our “Different” page.

Nobody’s a nobody and everybody is weird like you and me!

The Amazing World of Gumball – Nobody’s A Nobody

Our divergent bodyminds aren’t all that’s different about us. We’re different than most autism and disability organizations because we are led by autistic and disabled people. We use different language, different framing, and have little patience for respectability.

Respectability politics didn’t save me then, and they won’t save our community or movement now or in the future either.

Our movement, however, needs nothing of respectability politics. Accepting — conceding, surrendering, submitting to — that will only erode our movement until it crumbles entirely. Respectability politics is what’s gotten us into reliance on foundations and nonprofits, and elected officials and bureaucrats, and policies and programs that only benefit the most privileged and resourced members of our communities at the direct expense of the most marginalized. Radical, militant anger — and radical, militant hope, and radical, wild dreams, and radical, active love — that’s what’ll get us past the death machines of ableism and capitalism and white supremacy and laws and institutions working overtime to kill us.

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

We’re a Feisty Group of Disabled People

This isn’t just a story that disabled children will love; it’s a story about what is possible when we fight for ourselves and each other. It is a story about how tenacity, strength, the power of community, and the willingness to fight for what matters can start a revolution.

ROLLING WARRIOR: THE INCREDIBLE, SOMETIMES AWKWARD, TRUE STORY OF A REBEL GIRL ON WHEELS WHO HELPED SPARK A REVOLUTION 
Rebel Girl, The Linda Lindas
That girl thinks she's the queen of the neighborhood
She's got the hottest trike in town
That girl, she holds her head up so high
I think I wanna be her best friend, yeah

Rebel girl, rebel girl

A white woman in a wheelchair holds a sign that says "Right now!".

ROLLING WARRIOR
THE INCREDIBLE, SOMETIMES AWKWARD,
TRUE STORY OF A
REBEL GIRL ON WHEELS
WHO HELPED
SPARK
A REVOLUTION
JUDITH HEUMANN
WITH KRISTEN JOINER
Rebel Girl, Bikini Kill
Women in Punk

There have always been, like, women in it, and queer people, and people of color.

That community is also something really cool about punk.

Eloise Wong of The Linda Lindas

We’ve all got to end oppression against all people.

Kathleen Hanna

We were really angry, and we decided to write a song about it.

The Linda Lindas Talk About “Racist, Sexist Boy”
Clip of Judith Heumann speaking the text in the quote.

I wanna see a feisty group of disabled people around the world…if you don’t respect yourself and if you don’t demand what you believe in for yourself, you’re not gonna get it.

Judith Heumann

We’re a NeurodiVenture

We are a NeurodiVenture and a Teal organization running on the advice process, psychological safety, self-determination theory, the prosocial framework, mutual trust, collaborative niche construction, and open source. We do it in a trauma and neurodiversity informed way using polyvagal theory and the neuroscience of community.

NeurodiVenture : an inclusive non-hierarchical organisation operated by neurodivergent people that provides a safe and nurturing environment for divergent thinking, creativity, exploration, and collaborative niche construction.

NeurodiVerse human scale cultures created by neurodiversity within the human species

NeurodiVentures | Autistic Collaboration

Psychological safety is increasingly recognised as central to mental health & wellbeing. The polyvagal theory offers a ‘Science of Safety’ which can help inform clinical practice to promote wellbeing, resilience & post-traumatic growth, whilst mitigating trauma. To date, there is no standardised measure of psychological safety comprising psychological, physiological & social components. The current study aims to develop this.

Developing a standardised measure of psychological safety.
From the first mention of psychological safety by Schein and Bennis in the 1960s, through Deming, Toyota and Taiicho Ohno, Chernobyl and safety culture, Paul O’Neill, Kahn, Amy Edmondson, Google Project Aristotle and the State of DevOps reports. This 25 minute talk walks through the evolution of psychological safety and examines how we got to where we are now, and where we might be going in the future.

The Polyvagal Theory discovered by Dr. Stephen Porges is a working model of the autonomic nervous system which connects safety and social connection with health, well being, and recovery.

The Vagus Nerve & Chronic Illness — Trauma Geek

Whenever there is fear, you will get wrong figures.

We must preserve the power of intrinsic motivation, dignity, cooperation, curiosity, joy in learning, that people are born with.

W. Edwards Deming

We Do The Truly Essential Work

We aspire to do the “truly essential work”.

What Lorde and other black feminists … realized was that the more dehumanized groups a person belongs to, the more their experience forces them to understand about the way society is structured: what and who it takes for granted, the truths about itself it chooses to ignore, who is doing the truly essential work.

Letters To My Weird Sisters: On Autism and Feminism

We are literally just trying to take care of each other in our communities and we don’t have any fucking time for writing these 200-page long, detailed grant reports to prove that we’re really being honest because you know who doesn’t have to prove that?

Generationally wealthy people and extremely well-resourced organizations don’t have to worry about where their money is coming from. They don’t have to worry about who they’re asking for money from. And so they have the privilege to be able to not care, whereas we have to be a hundred times more scrupulous.

We are both shamed and guilted for asking for “handouts”, and yet we’re also expected to beg.

And that is why the vast majority of philanthropical resources continue to go to the same well-resourced, established organizations that are largely not accountable to directly impacted communities and to the people who have the most to lose, whereas organizations that are doing work on the front lines directly from community are infinitely less likely to be able to access even a fraction of the same funding pools and even in the space, especially in the space of disability philanthropy.

Lydia X.Z. Brown Powerfully Addresses Philanthropy’s Ableist Practices

The David Prize claims that the submission process “should take no more than 30 minutes. Yes, 30 minutes.” At first glance, the application seems straightforward: ten questions, with a maximum of 280-1,500 characters per answer. But it is a process that will disproportionately impact many chronically unwell and racialized individuals, as well as non cis men, who will recontextualize their ideas to appeal to a billionaire philanthropist. Alex and I spent roughly 80 hours over the course of two weeks to complete the written application. This sort of request for proposals, Alex pointed out, creates temporal lotteries, in which the buy-in isn’t money, but time.

Philanthropic Gentrification. How The David Prize turns activists… | by Liz Jackson | Medium

Philanthropy so often claims to be addressing inequity and inequality while reinforcing, perpetuating, and exacerbating it.

Lydia X.Z. Brown Powerfully Addresses Philanthropy’s Ableist Practices

We Find Our People

Generally punks can agree to the loose notion that “punk is an attitude/ individuality is the key.” It was a yearning to be different, to distance oneself from the mainstream mass of society. But punk was also a desire for community, a hunger for fellowship with like-minded souls…

Dissertation or Thesis | We accept you, one of us?: punk rock, community, and individualism in an uncertain era, 1974-1985

As soon as I said, “Hello, this is exactly who I am”, I found the most beautiful community of people.

yungblud
@yungblud

you only lose, when you stop getting up. 🖤🖤🖤 (link in bio)

♬ original sound – yungblud
@yungblud

we are yungblud. this is OUR message. 🖤 #bhc #yungblud @tiktok_uk

♬ original sound – yungblud

But, do you know what?

I found you!

I love you.

I love all of you out there.

And this is why I’m so proud to belong here.

Because this family is about spreading love.

yungblud

You are with us.

Look at the people around you.

You finally belong somewhere.

yungblud
Got called an alien for bein' myself
I ain't got the patience to be someone else

--hope for the underrated youth by yungblud
Find Your People, Mugs and Pockets

Opening doors has become my calling.


Welcome to this house.


Find your people.

All Hail Open Doors, Swamburger and Scarlet Monk of Mugs and Pockets

Until one day… you find a whole world of people who understand.

The internet has allowed autistic people- who might be shut in their homes, unable to speak aloud, or unable to travel independently- to mingle with each other, share experiences, and talk about our lives to people who feel the same way.

We were no longer alone.

7 Cool Aspects of Autistic Culture » NeuroClastic

This is a call to open arms
Lay down your guard, lay down your guard

A call to arms is what you need
I’m calling on you to sing along with me

Call to Arms, The Attack

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.

“The Beauty of Spaces Created for and by Disabled People” by s.e. smith in “Disability Visibility: First Person Stories from the 21st Century

And I’m doing
Better, every day
Because of those who stay aware
That we’re as great as we make
And not all differences need to be so
Explained

The Curse, Solillaquists of Sound

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.

Access Intimacy: The Missing Link | Leaving Evidence

We Rebuild What You Destroy

BECAUSE we are interested in creating non-hierarchical ways of being AND making music, friends, and scenes based on communication + understanding, instead of competition + good/bad categorizations.

BECAUSE doing/reading/seeing/hearing cool things that validate and challenge us can help us gain the strength and sense of community that we need in order to figure out how bullshit like racism, able-bodieism, ageism, speciesism, classism, thinism, sexism, anti-semitism and heterosexism figures in our own lives.

RIOT GRRRL MANIFESTO
We rebuild what you destroy
We Rebuild What You Destroy: The Linda Lindas
We Rebuild What You Destroy: The Linda Lindas
We can take turns taking the reins
Lean on each other when we need some extra strength
We’ll never cave or we’ll never waver
And we’ll always become braver and braver

We’ll dance like nobody’s there
Wе’ll dance without any cares
We’ll talk 'bout problеms we share
We’ll talk 'bout things that ain’t fair
We’ll sing 'bout things we don’t know
We’ll sing to people and show
What it means to be young and growing up

--Growing Up by The Linda Lindas

Keep on Livin’ Punk

A disembodied arm with blue skin and a self-care tattoo flashes the sign of the horns
Rock N’ Roller by Kyle Duce
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