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What the College Admissions Scandal Reveals About Privilege Inequality For Disabled Students

Photo © US Department of Education  | Creative Commons / Flickr [image: Three students at computer workstations, seen from behind.] Shannon Rosa Senior Editor Wealthy people using their privilege to bypass regular people problems like paying taxes is nothing new. But using that clout to exploit disability accommodations—to give their college-aspiring children truly unfair and also illegal advantages—is infuriating on multiple levels. As disability policy professional Rebecca Cokley noted at Teen Vogue: “This behavior is harmful because when celebrities and others with privilege use a marginalized community’s civil rights as a ‘VIP pass,’ it frames reasonable accommodations as something ‘special’ that you should be able to buy, versus actual civil rights that give people with disabilities an equal seat at the table.” Adrienne Wichard-Edds reported on the scandal for the Washington Post, from the perspectives of several irate parents of students with disabilities: “For children who really do struggle with…

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Inspiration Porn: How the Media and Society Objectify Disabled People

Photo via Time.  [image: Florida State football player Travis Rudolph, a Black man with short natural hair, eating pizza in a school cafeteria at a table with a  white boy with very short red hair and glasses, who is seen from behind.] Kit Mead kpagination.wordpress.com A while back, an example of inspiration porn crossed my Twitter feed: a Florida State University college football player sat down and had lunch with an autistic boy in a cafeteria. The story got picked up by the New York Times. I don’t fault the college football player very much, if it all (but I hope he asked the autistic student if the company would be welcome). The football player probably just saw a person likely excluded by classmates. He wanted to make sure the student was not alone. At worst, there is the element of pity involved, but the act itself was not ill-intended. I…

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Inter-Views: A Typing-Only Podcast Listening Party

Adam Wolfond [image: A young teenage boy with brilliant brown hair sitting on the beach.] Adam Wolfond soundcloud.com/awolfond I have a podcast called Inter-Views. My first podcast was an interview with artist Ellen Bleiwas. Ellen collaborates with me in thinking about art and movement at The A Collective in Toronto, Canada. She is a kind and wonderful artist. The Inter-Views podcasts are not about me but about sharing views. I like that I am not asked questions about autism. People should learn with others. I am hoping my podcasts will reach people. In the interviews I manage to type to communicate and my guests mostly talk. I had an Inter-Views listening party recently because I wanted lots of people to hear what we do and I wanted open minds about how people like me type to really talk. The interesting part of the interviews is the way insides of thinking…

Meltdowns: How Autistic Humans Experience Crises

Sonny Hallett  medium.com/@sonyahallett This post is about what meltdowns feel like to me, what impacts they’ve had, and what I’m learning about them. Other autistic people may have very different experiences, but if you are autistic yourself, I hope you will find something relatable about my descriptions and illustrations, or something helpful or encouraging in the things I’m learning. If you’re not autistic, I hope this gives you some insight into some aspects of a different way of being, different ways that humans can experience crises, and how your reactions could help or hinder. —- I’ve been thinking about autistic meltdowns lately, and how little they’re understood. Too much of what society hears about meltdowns, and what gets written, is about autistic kids, their experiences related by parents and professionals. Of course, many autistic people have also talked about their meltdown experiences very eloquently, but as with so many aspects…

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The quest for autism’s causes, and what it reveals about all of us

Emily Willingham Knowable Magazine As alarm grew over autism prevalence at the turn of this century, there was much public talk of a growing “epidemic.” That language has since softened, and it is now clear that many autistic people were there all along, their condition unrecognized until relatively recently. But what is the cause? The emerging narrative today is that there is no single cause—rather, multiple factors, roughly sorted into the categories of genetics and environment, work together in complex ways. Because of this complexity and the hundreds of gene variants that have been implicated, developing human brains may follow many possible paths to arrive at a place on the autism spectrum. And this may help explain something true about autism: It varies greatly from one person to the next. As clinicians view it, autism involves communication deficits and formulaic, repetitive behaviors that present obstacles to establishing conventional relationships. The…