Mutual Aid and Human-Centered Learning for Neurodivergent and Disabled People
The women who manage the network say that because the project is based on mutual aid, and because they’re working as private citizens and not as part of any organization, this allows them to work more dynamically and creatively in response to the changing needs.
The need that led them to interrupt their lives and devote themselves to volunteer work – and the fact that now they can’t stop without neglecting thousands of people – is an indictment of sorts against the welfare system and the government’s order of priorities.
…she realized for the first time that there is no address for these problems. “I heard about a family from the Congo that hadn’t eaten for five days. Four people heard about them before me, and nobody stopped for a moment to buy food for them. Everyone thought there was someone whose job it is to take careCare work makes all other work possible. Putting care—not just care work, but care—at the center of our economy, our politics, is to orient ourselves around our interdependence. Care is of such cases. Everyone thought that there’s a welfare state here that supports its weak communities.”
Like Cantor, Beck also slowly internalized the fact there was nowhere to transfer the responsibility. “I realized that we have no ‘mother’ and ‘father’ to depend on, that responsibility for the survival of entire communities lies with us, the citizens,” she relays. “I didn’t come from this background, and this period has taught me a very important lesson about the welfare systems that devastate entire populations.”
“Mutual aid is recognizing first of all our neighbors and the root problems in our communities,” Cantor says. “It’s about openly opposing the systems of racism, class discrimination and large retailers. Mutual aid requires that we look at those among us who are privilegedTo not have conversations because they make you uncomfortable is the definition of privilege. Your comfort is not at the center of this discussion.Brené Brown Power can be understood as and those who aren’t, and to ask how we achieve control of the resources and distribute them so as to advance justice in our communities. What makes our actions acts of resistance is that we’re operating in the direction of dismantling oppressive mechanisms by means of showing radical empathyThe ‘double empathy problem’ refers to the mutual incomprehension that occurs between people of different dispositional outlooks and personal conceptual understandings when attempts are made to communicate meaning.From finding a. It’s political.”
Cantor says: “Today, we’re demonstrating and creating a mutual aid alternative by ourselves. Everyone is excited about how people come together to help each other – to the point that we fail to understand that these difficulties shouldn’t even exist. We favor mutual help, but also target the root causes that brought about the lack of equalityEquityA commitment to action: the process of redistributing access and opportunity to be fair and just.A way of being: the state of being free of bias, discrimination, and identity-predictable outcomes to begin with.” She adds that helping one another is “not just a matter of packing and handing out food.”
Increasingly, autistic communities have been exposed to ideas of disability justiceDisability justice (and disability itself) has the potential to fundamentally transform everything we think about quality of life, purpose, work, relationships, belonging.Disability Visibility: First Person Stories from the 21st Century, interdependence, access intimacyAccess 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, 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.
The lyrics referred to the way many people viewed fans of punk rock (who often endured stares, slurs and assaults at the time), but they could just have easily been about people diagnosed with mental illnesses, who are frequently looked down upon as crazy, violent and unintelligent.
A long-standing and influential theory regarding disability is the “social model,” initially advanced by Mike Oliver. The social modelIn the broadest sense, the social model of disability is about nothing more complicated than a clear focus on the economic, environmental and cultural barriers encountered by people who are argues that “disability” does not reside within individuals, but is actually created by a mismatch between social structures and individual capacities. These structures can include obvious physical barriers (such as stairs, which could make it impossible for people in wheelchairs to enter a school or workplace by themselves), but can also include intolerant social attitudes which make it very difficult for people who don’t act in a manner that is considered “acceptable” to participate socially or avail themselves of community resources.
British human right activist Liz Sayce has specifically extended the social model to explain much of the disability that is experienced by people diagnosed with mental illnesses, and has argued for the establishment of “inclusive communities” to facilitate greater community participation among these individuals.
Further readingThere are three types of reading: eye reading, ear reading, and finger reading.The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan: A Blueprint for Renewing Your Child's Confidence and Love of Learning Most schools and,
Published by Ryan Boren
#ActuallyAutistic parent and retired tech worker. Equity literate education, respectfully connected parenting, passion-based learning, indie ed-tech, neurodiversity, social model of disability, design for real life, inclusion, open web, open source. he/they
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