Autism

Autistic people face discrimination and prejudice in a society which expects us to understand and fit in with social rules that are not of our making. People with autism are also part of the disabled people's fightback. This section includes my work providing 'Autism in the workplace' training and information for trade union representatives, plus campaign news, and personal and political observations.

Civil Service 'lunch and learn': Autism and Neurodiversity - changing workplaces not changing workers

16/05/2017 - 12:00

Venue: Nobel House, Atrium

Janine will deliver short and snappy sessions encouraging civil service workplaces to become accessible to autistic and other neurodivergent workers by changing themselves rather than trying to change workers.

More details to follow.

Marxism and Autism

Published in Solidairty 434, 29 March 2017:

 

Can Marxism can help us to understand autistic experience in modern capitalism? How might Marxism inform our struggles for equality and liberation?

There are different approaches to understanding autism. Perhaps the dominant approach is a medical one: seeing autism as a disease or tragedy, and autistic people as being broken and needing fixing. Over recent years, a more progressive approach has developed. It stresses acceptance of autistic people rather than simply “awareness”, and demands rights, equality and support rather than abusive “treatments”.

This approach is based on the concept of neurodiversity: the recognition that the human species is neurologically diverse; that different people have different brain wiring. But this more progressive approach, while welcome, does not necessarily locate autism and neurodiversity within the social, economic and political structures of society. It is important to do this — firstly, because all disability exists in a social context; and secondly, because autism is largely an issue of how people interact socially. We are all expected to follow social rules, but who makes those social rules, and how?

Report: RMT Disabled Members' Conference

Yesterday saw RMT's first ever Disabled Members' Conference, held in London.

Although quite small (9 delegates, plus union officials), the important thing was that it took place at all, especially as rank-and-file members had pushed for its creation against the wishes of the union's national leadership. Now it is established, it will grow from year to year, as the union's other equalities conferences have done.

 

Marxism and Autism: Newcastle

05/04/2017 - 19:00

Janine introduces a discussion on Marxism and Autism. Can Marxism help explain the autistic experience under capitalism, and contribute to our fight against oppression?

Venue: Broadacre House, Market Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 6HQ

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