As my neurodivergent and disabled family navigates healthcare, school, and life, I wish over and over that the professionals we interact with knew something about neurodiversity, the social model of disability, intersectionality, and equity literacy. We spend so much time educating folks in hopes they’ll gain the framing needed to see our family.
These are essential frameworks that every professional should be conversant in. In my experience, corporate harassment and discrimination training doesn’t really go into any of these. Wishing it did. Let’s bake them into our annual training and our company cultures. Let’s bake them into the curriculum for everyone. Those wanting to do ethical, inclusive, and informed work need to do the work of obtaining these tools.
Here’s my attempt at an introductory primer that got some good feedback on Twitter this week:
Design is Tested at the Edges: Intersectionality, The Social Model of Disability, and Design for Real Life
Further, we need MESH in our schools, our companies, and our professional development:
View at Medium.com
We all need these lenses and tools. Start baking them in so that the most marginalized and vulnerable people don’t have to provide free emotional labor and education over and over and over. It’s exhausting.
For “All means all” to actually apply to neurodivergent and disabled and marginalized kids, public educators need these tools.
To avoid building behaviorism and bias into our systems, tech workers need these tools.
Everyone working with other people need these tools.
Why, it’s almost as if, when it comes to education technologies, you can just say whatever you want in the marketing copy.
The role that venture philanthropy has played in attempting to reshape the American education system is near the top of this list of bad ideas.
Source: The 100 Worst Ed-Tech Debacles of the Decade
Audrey Watters’ review of the past decade of unethical and misguided ed-tech is epic and essential. Watters is a tech ethics guiding star and a great writer. Her work is necessary reading for educators and tech workers.
“Behaviorism is the foundation of education technology.” Resist it in all its forms.
Parents and educators, check out these autistic odes to noise-cancelling headphones. They imply a lot about neurology and how misguided behaviorism is. In her thesis that introduced neurodiversity, Judy Singer called computers an essential prosthetic device for autistics. That they are. A decent set of noise-cancelling headphones is another essential device. I remember my first pair of noise cancellers. They were a revelation in sensory management. I wish they existed when I was in school. Normalize them in our classrooms, and get them to our autistic and sensory overloaded students.
The Sonic Bliss of Quintessential Autistic Gear: Noise Cancelling Headphones » The Aspergian
I’ve had AirPods Pro for a few weeks. They are pocketable and effective sensory regulation that is always with me. Noise-cancellation in such a portable package is a boon to my sensory management. Again, I wish I had them in my K-12 years. They would have changed my life and avoided some meltdowns and burnout.
Note: noise-cancelling headphones are not for everyone. They can aggravate hyperacusis and misophonia. If you can, try noise-cancellation from different manufacturers to see if one is more compatible with you. I’m fortunate to be compatible with the Sony, Sennheiser, and Apple noise-cancellation I’ve tried. They all work for me.