I haven’t had the anxiety or pain budget to do much in-the-trenches advocacy and DEI work with y’all, but I manage to publish some neurodiversity and DEI related posts as I go about my reading. Here are a few months of highlights.
I particularly recommend the study I quote in “Neurominorities, Spiky Profiles, and the Biopsychosocial Model at Work” to all DEI and HR workers.
Neurominorities, Spiky Profiles, and the Biopsychosocial Model at Work
The aim of occupational accommodations for neurominorities is to access the strengths of the spiky profile and palliate the struggles.
A “design for equity, inclusion, and pluralism” cheatsheet, of sorts, that I use to remind myself:
There is no path to equity that does not involve a direct confrontation with inequity.
Inequities are primarily power and privilege problems.
Source: Basic Principles for Equity Literacy
Cognitive diversity exists for a reason. Selections on neurodiversity evolutionary history with dollops of positive niche construction, collaborative morality, and cultural evolution:
Cognitive diversity exists for a reason.
Human cognitive diversity exists for a reason; our differences are the genius – and the conscience – of our species.
Source: A Thousand Rivers – Carol Black
The fidgets that got me through 2020:
Favorite Fidgets 2020
Image work diversity fails our realities.
Image Work Diversity vs. The Reality of Me
“They wanted to have my presence, but not me exactly. They wanted to have the idea of me being at Google, but not the reality of me being at Google,” Gebru said.
Source: Researcher Timnit Gebru Says Google Wanted ‘My Presence, But Not Me Exactly’ : NPR
Are we using the right amount of strategic essentialism with our Employee Resource Groups?
Strategic Essentialism and Employee Resource Groups
We all need some digital sociology if we’re gonna be in the platform business.
The need for digital sociology is now.
“Nothing about us without us” is an ethical prime directive.
Dr. Gebru, NAUWU, and DEI
I first heard the expression “Nothing About Us Without Us” in South Africa in 1993. Michael Masutha and William Rowland, two leaders ofDisabled People South Africa, separately invoked the slo- gan, which they had heard used by someone from Eastern Europe at an international disability rights conference. The slogan’s power derives from its location of the source of many types of (disability) oppression and its simultaneous opposition to such oppression in the context of control and voice.
Source: NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT US: Disability Oppression and Empowerment
“Do not be the oppressor” is another guiding star. Check this talk for how to do more than image work diversity.
Do Not Be the Oppressor: Unlocking the Power of Employee Resource Groups
“Show me the money, and I’ll show you the outcome.”
“How are you gonna drive a DEI strategy with absolutely nobody in place to maintain continuity and accountability?”
“If you don’t have a dedicated person, how do you further this work?”
Obviously and exactly, yet so many companies lack a DEI head, including my own.
None of us should be in the behaviorism business.
The Problem with Behaviorism
Skinner won; Papert lost. Thorndike won; Dewey lost. Behaviorism won.
A reflection on past iterations of me:
Tech Ethics, Roaming Autodidacts, and the White-Male Effect
I very much resemble the roaming autodidact. Tech and open source are full of us. It took longer than I’d like to admit for me to recognize the white-male effect in my own thinking. “A form of cognition that protects status” is an apt summary, especially for roaming autodidacts who’ve lived and believe the meritocracy myth.
So much whelm.
Titrating the Whelm: Perceptual Capacity and Autistic Burnout
The divergent ways in which we process the world around us can also leave us fatigued and sapped of energy, as autistic people have “higher perceptual capacity” than our neurotypical counterparts, meaning that we process greater volumes of information from our environment. Autistic people commonly use the concept of ‘spoon theory‘ to conceptualize this experience of having limited energy resources.
Source: Doing More by Doing Less: Reducing Autistic Burnout | Psychology Today
So much stress.
Autism, Trauma, and Stress
Recently it has been suggested that individuals with ASD are at an increased risk of experiencing potentially traumatic events and being significantly affected by them (Haruvi-Lamdan et al., 2018; Kerns et al., 2015).
Source: Autism Spectrum Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: An unexplored co-occurrence of conditions – Nirit Haruvi-Lamdan, Danny Horesh, Shani Zohar, Meital Kraus, Ofer Golan, 2020
Hannah Gadsby on social anxiety, social exhaustion, routine, masking, autism and gender norms, being perceived as angry, getting feedback, observing patterns, competition, autistic stereotypes, processing time, autistic appreciation of comedy, diagnosis and misdiagnosis, functioning labels, toxic masculinity, thinking in terms of neurobiology instead of gender, eugenics, patriarchal devices, storytelling, comedy and trauma, neurodivergence in comedy, cruelty in comedy, fitting in, shame, failure and success, and religion:
What is yourself? It’s a way of being in the world that doesn’t feel exhausting.
I discovered “Uncomfortable Labels: My Life as a Gay Autistic Trans Woman” through the Queer ERG at work. Here’s a selection on internet socialization:
I added that to my “Written communication is the great social equalizer” post:
And another relatable quote, this one on isolation and sensory overwhelm:
Overwhelm and Isolation: It’s pretty hard to feel alone in a world this constantly loud.
The whole book is full of relatable moments.
What DEI stuff are y’all reading and blogging?