Abled culture teaches you to act as if you are independent, to buy into the myth of independence. Reject this. Embrace interdependence and know it is the only way we will be able to end this pandemic. Know that if we center The label "disabled" means so much to me. It means I have community. It means I have rights. It means I can be proud. It means I can affirm myself... More people, first and foremost those who are high risk, it will help everyone.You Are Not Entitled To Our Deaths: COVID, Abled Supremacy & Interdependence
This work is about shifting how we understand access, moving away from the individualized and independence-framed notions of access put forth by the disability rights movement and, instead, working to view access as collective and interdependent.
With disability justice, we want to move away from the “myth of independence,” that everyone can and should be able to do everything on their own. I am not fighting for independence, as much of the disability rights movement rallies behind. I am fighting for an interdependence that embraces need and tells the truth: no one does it on their own and the myth of independence is just that, a myth.Changing the Framework: Disability Justice | Leaving Evidence
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... More is one of the main ways that I have been building interdependence in my life. I have been pushing myself to grow it and not just subsist on the little I have been able to find, most significantly with my partner, as is the case for many disabled folks. Engaging in building any kind of interdependence will always be a risk, for everyone involved; and the risk will always be greater for those who are more oppressed and have less access to privilege. In an A system that places value on people's bodies and minds based on societally constructed ideas of normality, intelligence, excellence, desirability, and productivity. These constructed ideas are deeply rooted in anti-Blackness,... More world where disabled people are understood as disposable, it can be especially hard to build interdependence with people you need in order to survive, but who don’t need you in order to survive. In an ableist context, interdependence will always get framed as “burden,” and disability will always get framed as “inferior.” To actively work to build something that is thought of as undeniably undesirable and to try and reframe it to others as liberatory, is no small task.
Especially as disabled people, we know what it means to live interdependent lives and it does not always feel revolutionary or enjoyable.
Access intimacy is interdependence in action. It is an acknowledgement that what is most important is not whether or not things are perfectly accessible, or whether or not there is A system that places value on people's bodies and minds based on societally constructed ideas of normality, intelligence, excellence, desirability, and productivity. These constructed ideas are deeply rooted in anti-Blackness,... More; but rather what the impact of inaccessibility and ableism is on disabled people and our lives. In my experience, when access intimacy is present, the most powerful part is having someone to navigate access and ableism with. It is knowing that someone else is with me in this mess. It is knowing that someone else is willing to be with me in the never-ending and ever-changing daily obstacle course that is navigating an inaccessible world. It is knowing that I will not be alone in the stunning silence, avoidance and denial of ableism by almost every able bodied person I have ever and will ever come in contact with. Access intimacy is knowing that I will not be alone in the stealth, insidious poison that is ableism.
The power of access intimacy is that it reorients our approach from one where disabled people are expected to squeeze into able bodied people’s world, and instead calls upon able bodied people to inhabit our world.
In my life, access intimacy continues to be a game-changer, a way to queer access into a tool we can use to get free. It has been a way to shift and queer how I and others understand disability and ableism. And because of the inherent interdependence of access intimacy—the “we” of access intimacy—it has transformed the kinds of conversations I am able to have with some of the able bodied people in my life.Access Intimacy, Interdependence and Disability Justice | Leaving Evidence
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”!
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
The Western conception of the person as a bounded, unique, more or less integrated motivational and cognitive universe, a dynamic center of awareness, emotion, judgment, and action organized into a distinctive whole and set contrastively against both other such wholes and against its social and natural background, is, however incorrigible it may seem to us, a rather peculiar idea within the context of the world’s cultures.
In America, the individual is almost always the point of reference for thinking about success, about morality, about how children are educated and what defines adulthood. It’s about me, not us. As I argued recently, the astonishing selfishness of people who refuse to wear masks or restrict their activities during an epidemic – putting their “liberty” to do whatever they please above a sense of responsibility to (let alone concern for) the well-being of others – is really just an amplified version of what our whole culture represents.
Most of us are no more aware of the individualistic worldview that shapes us and defines our culture than a fish is aware of being in water. This is the context in which to understand how the central lesson in American schools, as Philip Jackson memorably put it, is “how to be alone in a crowd.” Learning is regarded as an activity for a roomful of separate selves, not for a community. One of my elementary school teachers used to trumpet, “Eyes on your own paper! I want to see what you can do, not what your neighbor can do!” This announcement, which issued from her with all the thoughtfulness of a sneeze, annoyed me at the time mostly for its contrived use of the word neighbor. Later I came to realize how misconceived the whole posture was. An impossibly precocious student might have turned to that teacher and said, “So you want to see what happens when I’m stripped of the resources and social support that characterize most well-functioning real-world environments? Geez, why wouldn’t you want to see how much more my ‘neighbors’ and I could accomplish together?”
Decades’ worth of research demonstrates the benefits of cooperative learning (CL) — an arrangement in which students of all ages and in just about all subjects figure stuff out together, in pairs or small groups. CL isn’t just about dividing kids into teams; it’s about creating “positive interdependence,” meaning that assignments are constructed so as to foster active collaboration.
But the larger point is that it doesn’t make sense to think of achievement in a purely individualistic way, as we do in schools, workplaces, and our society more generally. Tackling tasks together — particularly but not exclusively for people already predisposed toward interdependence — is usually a lot more productive.
Not only should we offer opportunities to learn and work cooperatively — the whole idea of achievement should be reframed to reflect collective accomplishment.All of Us Are Smarter Than Any of Us – Alfie Kohn
Autists depend on assistance from others in ways that differ from the cultural norm – and that is pathologised. However, the many ways in which non-autistic people depend on others is considered “normal”, or rather it is brushed under the carpet.
W.E.I.R.D. societies prefer to forget that humans have evolved to live in highly collaborative groups, with strong interdependencies between individuals and in many cases between groups. In our pre-civilised past all human groups were small, and interdependence and the need for mutual assistance was obvious to all members of a group. The tools of civilisation, including money, have undermined our appreciation of interdependence, and within the Western world have culminated in a toxic cult of competitive individualism, which amongst the non-autistic population ironically leads to extreme levels of groupthink.The Beauty of Collaboration at Human Scale: Timeless patterns of human limitations
It is important to understand that an emphasis on local-self sufficiency in terms of physical resource use is simply an effective way of minimising energy use and conflicts arising out of spurious cultural complexity, and does not preclude extensive global collaboration and prolific knowledge sharing. Neurodivergent people suffer at the hands of a sick society, and often this culminates in severe mental health problems. The pathway forward for the individual neurodivergent person depends on the concrete context. 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
…the eco-system arises from and responds to the multiple ways in which everyone is causally interconnected with, interdependent with, and fundamentally the same as all other humans, and literary representations of these various types of solidarity, their inherence in human nature, and their benefits to people who recognize and embrace them can help students incorporate these principles into their mental models of human nature and thus both recognize and enact them more productively in their personal, professional, and civic lives.
The most obviously systemic form of interconnectedness is existential: we all depend on other humans for our very existence and survival—that is, for the production and distribution of our food, clothing, and shelter, not to mention the complex technologies that we in the postindustrial world have come to rely on. We are dependent on the work of countless other individuals at every moment in our lives, and we simply could not exist without their direct and indirect contributions to our lives.Literature, Social Wisdom, and Global Justice: Developing Systems Thinking
All healthy and resilient institutions have a well-functioning competency network (Laloux 2014; Wilson 2015). A good way to understand competency networks is via the notion of trustworthiness and the nurturing and maintenance of trusted relationships (Bettin and Elliffe 2016). A competency network can be formalised as a directed graph of experience-based pair-wise trustworthiness ratings in relation to various domains between the members of a group. You can think of it as the gifts that people bring to life by relating to each other.The Beauty of Collaboration at Human Scale: Timeless patterns of human limitations
Compelling futures have to have more justice, yes; and right relationship to planet, yes; but also must allow for our growth and innovation. I want an interdependence of lots of kinds of people with lots of belief systems, and continued evolution.
Interdependence is mutual dependence between things. If you study biology, you’ll discover that there is a great deal of interdependence between plants and animals. “Inter-” means “between,” so interdependence is dependence between things, the quality or condition of being interdependent, or mutually reliant, on each other.57Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds
it is reckless to suppose that biodiversity can be diminished indefinitely without threatening humanity itself. Field studies show that as biodiversity is reduced, so is the quality of the services provided by ecosystems. Records of stressed ecosystems also demonstrate that the descent can be unpredictably abrupt.E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation » The Diversity of Life
In the Parable books Lauren is a young, black, disabled woman who manages to not merely survive but to create a belief system and lead a community that brings together and helps thousands in the midst of chaos. As a result, this series is one example of how a better future can include those of us whose lives, Bodymind: A term used to challenge the idea the body and mind are experienced separately (Descartes). Written in various ways, Bodymind or Body-mind, this usage foregrounds the understanding that experiences... More, and perspectives are often devalued and discounted.Bodyminds Reimagined: (Dis)ability, Race, and Gender in Black Women’s Speculative Fiction
Embrace diversity.Parable of the Sower (p. 196)
Or be divided,
By those who see you as prey.
Or be destroyed.
Let’s organize our lives around love and care.
We exist for the direct support and mutual aid of neurodivergent and disabled people.
We serve our loved people so we can keep on living through the onslaught.
I center the marginalized and the different. I center edge cases, because edge cases are stress cases and design is tested at the edges. I center neurodivergent and disabled experience in service to all bodyminds.
We pledge to act and interact in ways that contribute to an open, welcoming, diverse, inclusive, and healthy community.
We steer by these acquired phrases. They are compasses and stars that align us on our mission.
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.
Our designs, our societies, and the boundaries of our Compassion Isn't CoddlingPeople often mistake compassion for “being nice,” but it’s not. At A List Apart, the editorial team still says no when a submission isn’t a good fit. At... More are tested at the edges, where the truths told are of bias, inequality, injustice, and thoughtlessness.
Let's organize our lives around love and care Let's write each other letters and call it prayer Let's congregate in the place that isn't anywhere At the temple of broken dreams