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Two Autistics’ Experiences With Low-Gain Hearing Aids For Auditory Processing Problems

Photo courtesy Naomi M. [image: Photo of a pair of blue insertable low-gain hearing aids  lying on a dark brown wood-grain surface.] Naomi M. and endever* anotherqueerautistic.wordpress.com Summary/tl;dr Specially programmed low-gain hearing aids can help people with auditory processing problems, even when they don’t have other difficulty hearing. They work by enhancing the sounds that help people understand spoken words. They can also make sounds less painful. Auditory processing problems make it difficult to understand spoken words, especially when there’s background noise. It’s like your brain has difficulty hearing correctly. Many autistic people have auditory processing problems, as do some non-autistic people. The authors of this post both tried specially programmed hearing aids to help with auditory processing issues and with sound sensitivity. We have found them life-changing. In this post, we give background on auditory processing issues and hearing aids, and also share our personal experiences. Important Note This…

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Notes From Your Friendly Neighborhood Inclusionista

Shannon Des Roches Rosa twitter.com/shannonrosa I want to make this as friendly as possible, so I think it’s important to start by clarifying terms: Inclusion, my lovelies, is a real and basic human right, and it simply means autistic and other disabled people have the right to be out and about in the world, and not segregated or hidden away as used to be the default for their community members. Inclusion does not mean forcing people like my high-support autistic son to be in places they don’t want to be, that aren’t set up for them, or in which they aren’t welcome. But even when we embrace inclusion as a disability rights baseline, my son still doesn’t get to do all the things—but that’s because of accessibility barriers, not because inclusion itself is a flawed concept. Even though The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) installed accessibility as the law of our…

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How to Plan Events That Prioritize Accessibility

Color Communication Badges by Button Justice League, on Etsy [Image Description: Three 1.5 inch pinback buttons each with a vivid color, a bold black word and a black shape underneath the text. From left to right: a “Red” button with a octagon, a “Yellow” button with a triangle, and lastly a “Green” button with a circle.]  Lydia X. Z. Brown @autistichoya [Note from Lydia: This originally appeared on Twitter as a thread on 4 June 2018, and is an incomplete list of suggestions.] Some tips on access-centered event/program organizing/planning (some are mine; many I learned from other fabulous folks): (1) When you put information about the event online, whether on (a) a website, (b) in email announcements, or (c) social media, only include images if you include alt-text and text-only captions. (2) Don’t rely on online/email/social media to get the word out. Call people too. Many comrades with intellectual disabilities…

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Don’t Let Congress Dismantle the ADA: How You Can Take Action

Maxfield Sparrow unstrangemind.com Photo © Stephen Melkisethian | Flickr/Creative Commons [image: Black-and-white photo of disability rights protesters at the U.S. Capitol: some using wheelchairs, some not.] We educated our legislators. We wrote letters and made phone calls. We worked hard to get the message across, yet the House judiciary committee has chosen to take the next step to dismantle the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA): H.R. 620 will go in front of the entire House of Representatives for a vote. We have no idea yet when that vote will be, so we need to renew our efforts to educate and persuade our lawmakers, so they will act to protect the ADA, and reject H.R. 620 and its agenda to confuse and limit the ADA. As I wrote back in May, “Unless we educate our legislators about the harm of notification bills like H.R. 620 and similar state-level legislation, the ADA Title…

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How Lack of Accommodations Can Thwart Anxiety and Mental Health Services

Maxfield Sparrow unstrangemind.com [image: The comics character Charlie Brown, sitting up in bed with his head in his hands, under a speech bubble reading, “My anxieties have anxieties.”] I wasn’t sure if I would write about this or not. I have shared many deeply personal and private things with my readers, but this is hard and humiliating and I’m not even sure why this is harder to share, but it is. So please be gentle. I have anxiety so bad and have had it for so long that I didn’t even realize how anxious my baseline state is until the first time I smoked marijuana and experienced what it’s like to feel peaceful. My anxiety makes every day a struggle. Even my good days are riddled with anxiety. As I said, it is my baseline state. I should add that therapy makes me more anxious. Every so often I struggle…

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The Faith Community and Social Justice: How to Prioritize Disability, Low Income, and LGBT Needs

Kris Guin queerability.tumblr.com Source: Mel Green/Flickr [image: Church wall hanging: rectangular quilt reading “Welcome” in blue letters, surrounded by red hearts in white diamonds, on a swirly rainbow background.] I think that communities and people of faith should make social justice work a priority. Not only do I think that people of faith have a moral imperative to make the world a better place, but I think it’s good for the faith community. I don’t know how non-Christian faith communities are, but I think the Church and church* are inaccessible to many folks. Dressing up in nice clothes is a social standard in many churches because of the belief that you need to “dress up for God.” This prevents many people from being able to go to church on Sundays because some people might not be able to afford nice clothes, or some people might have sensory issues with nice…