Seem odd because they can't see
The trees for the wood
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. Autistic people 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.
I sent this letter to the organisers of The Autism Shows, with over 100 supporting names, in June 2018.
Written for and published by TotalJobs.com, here.
Work can be an uphill climb for autistic people. Colleague support can smooth out the gradient and make it easier going, explains Janine Booth, co-chair of the TUC Disabled Workers’ Committee.
Video of Janine performing at NeurodiVERSE, an evening of autistic poetry in Leeds on 22 November 2017.
It includes the poems:
- Being Normal
- Manifesto from Behind the Mask
- No Autistics Here
- Mostly Hating Tories
- BoJo Logic
- Night Tube
- Disaffected Middle-aged Women
RMT's Disabled Members' Advisory Committee met for the second time on Wednesday 13 September.
1. Committee membership
We welcomed new members to the Committee, and completed the election of our Liaison (conference arrangements) Committee.
2. Guest speaker: Transport for All
At this year's RMT AGM, I spoke in favour of a resolution from the union's Disabled Members' Conference calling on the union to adopt the social model of disability. The resolution was passed unanimously. This is what I said.
Statement by the TUC Disabled Workers' Committee to TUC Disabled Workers' Conference, 18 May 2017:
There will be a general election on Thursday 8 June. Whatever the circumstances under which it was called, it is an opportunity for voters to either reaffirm or change the government.
I am quoted about autism and my sensory experiences in this article on The Independent's website.
When I ask Janine what her individual Achilles’s heel is, perceptually speaking, she immediately replies: “Adverts in public spaces – especially moving ones
Some notes from recent discussions on Marxism and autism (two meetings and some online exchanges):
- There is a capitalist market in products aimed at autistic people and their families. These range from useful resources through to fake and even abusive 'treatments' and 'cures'. As well as commodifying autistic people's needs, this also exploits the fears felt by autistic people and particularly by parents of autistic kids.
- The mass production brought about by capitalism has had the effect of 'standardising' human beings, pushing us into a narrowly-defined 'normal', in contrast with the more individual, craft-based systems of production that preceded it. On the other hand, mass production has brought major advances and increased living standards. Can socialism combine the advantages of mass production and a renewed scope for individuality and diversity?
I wrote this blog for the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), which published it on 3 April 2017.
Do you have any autistic workmates? Perhaps you do. Perhaps you do but you don’t realise it. Perhaps you are autistic yourself. Maybe you have an autistic dependant – child or adult – or you know a workmate who does.