Community Care

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Increasingly, autistic communities have been exposed to ideas of disability justice, interdependence, access intimacy, collective/community care, and mutual aid. Care collectives, spoon shares, and other community care groups by and for disabled people, racialized people, LGBTQ2IA+ people (and people at this intersection) are growing in number. Is there a future for autistic spaces to also act as spaces of intentional mutual aid?

Moving from a rights-based perspective to a justice-based one necessitates a look at our care systems and re-envisioning how our communities function to ensure no one is left behind.

Collective Community Care: Dreaming of Futures in Autistic Mutual Aid, Autscape: 2020 Presentations

Self-care is birthed by and through community care.

Talila A. Lewis

What is mutual aid?

“Solidarity, not charity.”

Why is a spoon share helpful?

  • Interdependence, understanding and support
  • Gives opportunity to help & care for other in on our own terms and within our own capacities
  • Direct support in a community within a community
  • It’s much easier to practice asking, offering, receiving, and declining among people who “get it”!
Collective Community Care: Dreaming of Futures in Autistic Mutual Aid

With “solidarity, not charity” as their guiding principle, these mutual aid groups aimed to lighten that burden and fill the gap in services left by the government

‘Solidarity, not charity’: Mutual aid groups are filling gaps in Texas’ crisis response | Grist

🤲 It is time to celebrate our interdependence.

Interdependence acknowledges that our survival is bound up together, that we are interconnected and what you do impacts others. Interdependence is the only way out of most of the most pressing issues we face today. If we do not understand that we are interdependent with the planet we as a species will not survive.

You Are Not Entitled To Our Deaths: COVID, Abled Supremacy & Interdependence  | Leaving Evidence

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.

Celebration of interdependence

We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.

Letter from Birmingham Jail, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

🏩 Creating Community

yellow blue red pink purple green multicolored open umbrellas hanging on strings under blue sky

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
rainbow

📢 Platforming and Amplifying Each Other

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 while wearing sparkly ball gowns and crowns. Credit: Jasmine Slater
Black mother and daughter holding hands while wearing sparkly ball gowns and crowns. Credit: Jasmine Slater

Neurodiversity rocks! We make rock ‘n’ roll and inclusive education.
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
“Out of Tune” by Josephmooon
incept thoughts of sustainability
and alternative living
while simultaneously giving energy
to the conscious resistance
make a colossal difference
and help to stop the systems
that forever lock our existence

Insignificant by Feral the Earthworm
heard a quote that the answer is
contained
inside the things that you
fear most
don't run from the pain
it's the hydra
two heads grow back when you cut one
this cannot be slain
it perpetually regains until the day
that you've illuminated darkness with a
flame
shadows remain
understand this principle
can never be removed only tamed

The Answer by Feral the Earthworm

The revolution has no size or shape. It’s the collective effort of all dreamers.

Feral the Earthworm

🩹🛟 Need Mutual Aid?

If you need monetary support, our “Request Aid” page outlines our application process.

We also offer creator grants to fund your projects.

We pay neurodivergent and disabled people. We pay us to create. We pay us to live.

I’m honestly in tears right now because of you guys.

Thank you so, so much for caring about my family. Thank you for sharing your kindness & support.

I want to say thank you and tell you you made a big difference in someone’s life today. I can’t stop crying. I’ve never felt understood or seen like this before. I’m desperately looking for community, perspective, support, tools to survive and feel backed into a corner.

Oh my gosh, thank you SO MUCH! This is truly amazing!

Extremely blessed to be able to get my procedure and medication. Huge thank you to @stimpunks. I’m honestly in tears, thank you guys so much.

Thank you so much. This is exactly what I needed right when I needed it. Y’all are heros. I appreciate your help.

It shocked me, humbled me, and made me wonder how you were able to do what you did for me!

I can’t believe how incredible y’all are. I’m in tears. This is the biggest thing that’s ever happened to me like this.

My partner told me about you and when I saw your mission page I cried for like an hour because it resonated so strongly.

You made someone struggling alone feel a little better and less lonely today.

🗄 Temporal Lotteries: We Don’t Have Any Time for Writing These 200-Page Long, Detailed Grant Reports

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

I have been forced to think about everything I do. Do you know how many spoons people waste everyday? I don’t have room for wasted time, or wasted “spoons” and I chose to spend this time with you.

The Spoon Theory
Everything costs time everything
Everything costs time yes it does

Costs time getting out of bed
Doctor says you got your head in the fog
Got to cook and eat your food
Costs time to walk your dog

Costs time no matter what you do
Take a shower and get in the pool
Drive a car hang out with your friends
Go back in time or forward again

Some things take a lot of time
And some things don’t take too long
Just depends on what you do
Write a letter or sing this song, sing along

--Cost Time by Josephmooon

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.
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 MAP Mix by Mugs and Pockets

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

⛑📚 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.

⏭ Next Pillar: Learning Space

The story continues with, “♿️📚Anti-Ableist Space for Human-Centered Learning”

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Navigating Stimpunks

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