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 disabled 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 interdependence in action.
- Self-care is birthed by and through community care.
- The parts we need to survive are scattered all amongst us.
- It is time to celebrate our interdependence! Collaboration allows us to create genuinely safe spaces for autistic and otherwise neurodivergent people.
- Everyone is causally interconnected with, interdependent with, and fundamentally the same as all other humans.
- Nurture and maintain globally distributed human scale competency networks – networks of mutual trust.
- Human beings are inherently interconnected, and inter-embedded within the earth.
- It is reckless to suppose that biodiversity can be diminished indefinitely without threatening humanity itself.
- We need a counterculture of care.
- Embrace diversity. Unite— Or be divided.
Access intimacy is interdependence in action.
Access intimacy 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 ableist 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.
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
Mia Mingus in Hamraie and Fritsch (2019) describe access intimacy as a “crip relational practice produced when interdependence informs the making of access” (p.14). As such, interdependent ways of languaging, like augmented speech, do not appeal to many abled people. For example, as Mackay’s (2003) work with aphasia patients showed, the patients were viewed as incompetent because of their voicelessness. Given an acceptance of interdependence and care work in languaging via crip time, the patients would be viewed as competent (Rossetti et al., 2008).Unsettling Languages, Unruly Bodyminds: A Crip Linguistics Manifesto | Journal of Critical Study of Communication and Disability
Hamraie (2013) asks us to think about the politics of access through the framework of interdependence. Languaging, as an important site of access—to the world, to politics, to belonging, to citizenship—thus demands that we think about this through the lens of collective access and care. Rejecting monolingualism and mono-modality are two beginning steps. Embracing time, space, and material environments in meaning-making are also preliminary steps. Interdependence also asks us to think about our built environments and how that impacts access (Hamraie, 2013), and in our case, language. Hamraie (2017) also instigates us to consider how discrimination is built into the structures around us, the buildings, the foundations, the frameworks, and theories, and so on. When in the process of crippling linguistics, we question how modality chauvinism has been built into the various language focused fields and the perspectives of what language is and what is good languaging. Hamraie and Fritsch’s (2019) practices of “interdependence, access intimacy, and collective access can be understood as alternative political technologies through Crip technoscience” (p.13). Crip technoscience is “critique, alteration, and reinvention” (p.2). It is how disabled people alter and reinvent the world in order to make access happen. The relationship between science, technology, and language is such that the dismissal of disabled ways of languaging has resulted in inaccessible technologies.Unsettling Languages, Unruly Bodyminds: A Crip Linguistics Manifesto | Journal of Critical Study of Communication and Disability
One lesson from crip languaging is the idea of interdependence and forms of access intimacy through the discourse process.View of Unsettling Languages, Unruly Bodyminds: A Crip Linguistics Manifesto
These and other material practices describe a crip technoscientific sensibility wherein disabled interdependence also enables what Mingus (2017) calls “access intimacy,” a crip relational practice produced when interdependence informs the making of access.Crip Technoscience Manifesto
If, as Kafer argues, disabled people have often uneasy or “ambivalent relationships to technology” (2013, p. 119), our practices of interdependence, access intimacy, and collective access can be understood as alternative political technologies: “disabled people,” she writes, “are not cyborgs…because of our bodies (e.g., our use of prosthetics, ventilators, or attendants), but because of our political practices” (p. 120). Crip technoscience offers interdependence as a central analytic for disability–technology relations, recognizing that in disability culture, community, and knower-maker practices, interdependence acts as a political technology for materializing better worlds.Crip Technoscience Manifesto
Self-care is birthed by and through community care.
Self-care is birthed by and through community care.Talila A. Lewis
What is mutual aid?
“Solidarity, not charity.”
Source: Collective Community Care: Dreaming of Futures in Autistic Mutual Aid
- 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”!
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
Interdependence, real interdependence can be the difference between making the best of a bad situation and spiraling into isolation, burnout and or mental illness. As such, the advice I tend to give new and prospective grad students is focus on building relationships, seek relationships, invest in relationships, lean on your relationships, because no matter how much you think you can just will yourself into focusing on your work, at some point the work is going to suck. Or maybe it won’t. I don’t know. Are you willing to bet your mental wellness?
Remember it’s interdependence, not just dependance. If you have the time and energy, see if you can pay it forward. It’s definitely a lot of work, but it can be a really rewarding to see yourself actually contribute to another person’s wellbeing. Try it sometime!How to Survive Grad School (and Other Toxic Jobs) – YouTube
Multiple participants discussed how self-determination co-existed with meaningful relationships and partnerships, including family and parenting responsibilities. Although Kyle affirmed the value of freedom in making choices and decisions, he also acknowledged that interdependence is important because “having a group to lift you up or care for you is important for health and wellness.”Frontiers | Toward understanding and enhancing self-determination: a qualitative exploration with autistic adults without co-occurring intellectual disability
The parts we need to survive are scattered all amongst us.
And we can’t BE a community unless we get past white supremacy,
You cannot get there. The parts we need to survive are scattered All amongst us.Tinu on Twitter
We all find a way to love & live interdependently.
Or we all die.
The whole of humanity.Tinu on Twitter
It is from being disabled that I heave learned about the dangerous and privileged “myth of independence” and embraced the power of interdependence. The myth of independence being of course, that somehow we can and should be able to do everything on our own without any help from anyone. This requires such a high level of privilege and even then, it is still a myth. Whose oppression and exploitation must exist for your “independence?”
We believe and swallow ableist notions that people should be “independent,” that we would never want to have to have a nurse, or not be able to drive, or not be able to see, or hear. We believe that we should be able to do things on our own and push our selves (and the law) hard to ensure that we can. We believe ableist heteronormative ideas that families should function as independent little spheres. That I should just focus on MY family and make sure MY family is fed, clothed and provided for; that MY family inherits MY wealth; that families should not be dependent on the state or anyone else; that they should be “able-bodied,” essentially. We believe the ableist heteronormative racist classist myth that marriage, “independence” as sanctified through the state, is what we want because it allows us to be more “independent,” more “equal” to those who operate as if they are independent—That somehow, this makes us more “able.”
And to be clear, I do not desire independence, as much of the disability rights movement rallies behind. I am not fighting for independence. I desire community and movements that are collectively interdependent.Interdependence (exerpts from several talks) | Leaving Evidence
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.
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
It is time to celebrate our interdependence! Collaboration allows us to create genuinely safe spaces for autistic and otherwise neurodivergent people.
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
Everyone is causally interconnected with, interdependent with, and fundamentally the same as all other humans.
…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
Nurture and maintain globally distributed human scale competency networks – networks of mutual trust.
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
Human beings are inherently interconnected, and inter-embedded within the earth.
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.
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
Earth's gonna set on fire But still I wait Rabid with desire But still I wait Flames gonna kiss my back I hope I can run faster than that Earth's gonna set on fire But still I wait
Who's gonna swallow the blaze After the flood Stuck inside the maze The moss and mud Drowning with the plants I hope I can swim faster than that Earth's gonna set on fire But still I wait But still I wait But still I wait But still I wait But still I
“The Next Curse” is a song about how even in a time when we see our planet on fire and flooding, we still don’t take the time we need to heal ourselves. These circumstances begin to mirror each other in a self-perpetuating cycle. It’s my desire that humans as a species work toward less violence and more compassion for one another despite differences. I hope we can show this kindness to planet earth as well and treat her like the magical, generous being she is.FLOOD – Slothrust Break Down Their Spiritual New LP “Parallel Timeline” Track by Track
We need a counterculture of care.
Embrace diversity. Unite— Or be divided.
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, bodyminds, 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.
Earthseed is Olamina’s contribution to what she feels should be a species-wide effort to evade, or at least to lengthen the specialize-grow-die evolutionary cycle that humanity faces, that every species faces.Parable of the Sower (Parable, 1)
Take a look at Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents. That isn’t prophecy, I hope. The society that I portray in these two books is pretty much broken.
Global warming is practically a character in Parable of the Sower.
They’re problems now. They become disasters because they’re not attended to. I hope, of course, that we will be smarter than that.
We do tend to go to the edge more often than we ought to. We go to the edge and then we look and we realize, my god, that’s oppressive, we could fall over, we could die, and we draw back.
The problem is with something like global warming you can’t just draw back and make it okay.Octavia Butler interview – transcending barriers – YouTube
She described “Parable of the Sower” as “definitely an if-this-goes-on story.
“And if it’s true, if it’s anywhere near true, we’re all in trouble.”The Parable of the Sower: Crash Course Literature 406 – YouTube
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 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