On 23rd June 2012, Steven Simpson, a gay autistic student, was verbally abused, stripped, and his body scrawled with offensive slogans. He was then doused in tanning oil and 20-year-old Jordan Sheard set fire to his crotch with a cigarette lighter. The flames engulfed his body, his attackers fleeing as neighbours tried desperately to extinguish the flames. Steven died the next day suffering 60% burns.
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.
This poem is about the murder of 18-year-old, gay, autistic student Steven Simpson - and the appalling miscarriage of justice when his killer was prosecuted. You can read a news report giving more information here; and the resolution adopted by TUC Disabled Workers' Conference here. The poem imagines what might happen if the tables were turned on reactionary judges!
I heard the local judge was having a party at his flat
I thought that sounded tasty, I'll have a bit of that
There'll probably be some posh nosh and a bit of legal chat
I hadn't been invited, but who cares about that?
Knives. Forks. Spoons. Obviously.
What other arrangement could it possibly be?
There's a reason that cutlery drawers have three distinct spaces
So we can place our utensils in their correct places
It's forks in the middle, knives and spoons to their border
How could you entertain any other order?
And the little slot, sideways, at the front of the drawer
Janine will be presenting the draft Labour Party Autism and Neurodiversity Manifesto at this briefing event at Parliament hosted by John McDonnell MP. Other members of the steering group which put the manifesto together will be on hand to answer questions.
If you are a PCS member and would like to come on this course, please contact your branch or regional office.
Join us for a festive celebration as Autism East Midlands hosts its first ever Christmas Fayre. Autism East Midlands 2018 Christmas Fayre will not only allow everyone to come together for some Christmas cheer, but it will also see the closing of Autism East Midlands 50th Anniversary Celebrations.
Janine will be tutoring this two-day, Stage 1 Neurodiversity in the Workplace training course for PCS trade union reps and members.
Details to follow.
If you would like to attend, please contact the regional office or your branch secretary.
You sit me on a chair that hurts
In a classroom full of noise and light
You put a pen in my wrong hand
And tell me that I have to write
You speak in terms that don't make sense
You write in symbols I can't see
You talk to everyone at once
You talk to everyone but me