Normal Sucks: Author Jonathan Mooney on How Schools Fail Kids with Learning Differences

I’m a big fan of Jonathan Mooney’s neurodiversity advocacy. So much of the work of neurodiversity and disability advocacy is getting folks to reframe from the medical and deficit models to the social model. Mooney is good at this reframing.

Here are some selected quotes from a recent interview with Mooney at Longreads where he shares his journey through school and reframes deficiency as difference.

Reframe these states of being that have been labelled deficiencies or pathologies as human differences.

The ultimate thing we should be fighting for is to not have to pathologize yourself to get your individual needs met. Something’s wrong with a system that requires parents and children to say, “I am sick or defective.”

We need to have universally designed systems designed around the reality of human variance opposed to the myth of human sameness.

We privilege some brains over other brains. We privilege some bodies over other bodies. And that gets embedded in our institutions.

There is conscious and unconscious bias about people with a whole continuum of atypical brains and bodies. And when we judge someone’s intelligence based on their spelling and we rule out their capacities as a human being because of their bad handwriting…,we are participating in a subtle and yet very powerful form of institutionalized ableism.

Accommodation is fundamentally about not changing the person but changing the environment around the person.

It’s going to be not fixing what’s wrong with them that changes their life, it’s gonna be building on, celebrating, and scaling what’s right with them.

When we say that somebody “overcame” dyslexia, cerebral palsy, whatever it is, we imply that that state of being is inherently deficient and it’s a problem inside of them.

I didn’t overcome dyslexia; I overcame dysteachia.

It’s not a problem in the person; it’s not a problem with the difference; it’s a problem in the interaction between a difference and a context built for the myth that we should all be the same.

Elevate ableism as one of the injustices of our world.

I’m tremendously optimistic about the broad cultural movement around equity, diversity, and inclusion. And I think we need to hold on to that as a culture. And we need to demand that that core philosophical and ethical commitment to having a world that doesn’t just work for some, but works for all, starts to come into our systems and we to some real difference in our systems. I think we have to fight for that. It ain’t going to happen on its own.

Source: Normal Sucks: Author Jonathan Mooney on How Schools Fail Kids with Learning Differences

Mooney is an engaging and inspiring talker. Give the entire episode a listen.

More from Jonathan Mooney:

… right from the start, from the time someone came up with the word ‘autism’, the condition has been judged from the outside, by its appearances, and not from the inside according to how it is experienced.

Source: Autism: An Inside-Out Approach: An Innovative Look at the ‘Mechanics’ of ‘Autism’ and its Developmental ‘Cousins’ by Donna Williams

Via: Full article: Disposable dispositions: reflections upon the work of Iris Marion Young in relation to the social oppression of autistic people

My macOS Keyboard Flow

This lists some of the hotkeys and applications that constitute my core productivity flow on macOS.

My workflow is very plain text and Markdown heavy.

I’m a text and information worker, and these are some of my tools.

Legend:

HyperKarabiner Elements maps my Caps Lock key to Cmd+Ctl+Opt+Shift. This serves as my Hyper key. It also serves as an escape key when pressed and released (as opposed to using it as a modifier in a chord with other keys). This dual behavior is very useful. Launching with a Hyper key chord and then dismissing with the Hyper key is nice flow. If you have an app or miniwindow that doesn’t dismiss when it’s hotkey is pressed again, try putting it on a dual behavior Hyper key so you don’t have to reach for Escape or Cmd+w.

<KM> – This indicates the keybinding is handled by Keyboard Maestro, a favorite workflow automation tool.

Core

Launch

Search

Add

Ulysses

  • Hyper+h, Hyper+v = Paste from HTML <KM>
  • Hyper+u = Clip web browser selection to Ulysses <KM>
  • Hyper+l = Markdown Link from Front Browser, Markdown Link from Selected URL, Markdown Source: Link from Front Browser, Markdown Source: Link from Selected URL <KM>
  • Hyper+c = Copy as Markdown | Copy as HTML | Copy as Rich Text <KM>
  • Hyper+q = Blockquote selected text <KM>

DEVONthink

  • Hyper+↑ = Fullscreen document <KM>

Text

  • Hyper+delete = Kill entire line <KM>
  • Ctl+s = Select current line <KM>
  • Hyper+c = Paste selection into last application <KM>
  • Option+esc = Speak selected text

Things

  • Cmd+Ctl+Opt+m = Share task[s] via Messages <KM>

Textexpander

Workspaces & Windows

  • Cmd+tab = SuperTab app switcher
  • Cmd+Ctl+Opt+h = Hide all applications <KM>