ASL for Autistics

Photo © MrTinDC | Flickr / Creative Commons  [image: Bronze sculpture of hands demonstrating American Sign Language, in the visitor center at Gallaudet University.] endever* corbin anotherqueerautistic.wordpress.com To preface: I am a hearing semiverbal autistic person who is studying American Sign Language (ASL) and using it as AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication). I want to talk about why ASL can be useful for some hearing autistic people. (Of course, it’s widely useful by d/Deaf/HoH people, despite oralists’ discouragement of sign languages—destroy this philosophy for all!) However, before you consider my words please look into perspectives from actual d/Deaf people, whose experiences and culture should always be centered when discussing sign languages. Here are some links to start, and there’s a more thorough list at the bottom of this article. •Dr. Vicar’s ASL instructional videos •Rikki Poynter, deaf vlogger
 •Andrew Parsons, Deaf advocate —- I formally studied ASL as a teenager before I…


When Chairs Are the Enemy

Photo © Just Dining Chairs  | Flickr / Creative Commons [Two taupe suede dining chair with blonde wood legs on a white background.] TPGA is observing Autism Acceptance Month by featuring accounts from autistic people about the differences accommodations (or lack thereof) make in their lives. Today’s example is from Aiyana Bailin, about how small accommodations changes, in this case choices regarding chairs, can have “huge results.” Aiyana Bailin restlesshands42.wordpress.com Once, at a convention of (mostly) autistic people, I observed a peculiar phenomenon. Chairs were arranged in a large circle, and perhaps 100 attendees gathered and sat. A handful of people, myself included, took their spot in the circle, but sat on the floor in front of their chair, rather than on the chair itself. This floor-sitting evoked no signs of disapproval; after all, most autistic people know that comfort doesn’t come in one-size-fits-all. But I’m used to people being…


Disability-Friendly Museum Days Are the Best!

Shannon Des Roches Rosa www.squidalicious.com I’ve written about disability-friendly museum days before — at the San Jose Children’s Discovery Museum, Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo, and San Francisco’s Exploratorium, specifically — and how awesome they are. I will be frank: my son does not go to children’s museums except for during these special events in which the museums are open to a limited number of guests with disabilities and their families, the staff are trained to accommodate, there are quiet rooms to retreat to, social stories are prepared ahead of time to introduce attendees to the space, and he can focus on fun. So I am grateful to San Mateo’s CuriOdyssey (formerly Coyote Point Museum) for hosting a Super Families event last weekend, and hope they will continue to host these events periodically. My son, his little sister, and her friend got to have the best time ever. I’ll…