Lines like “With any luck, your group identity will be the least interesting thing about you” from techbro rationalists and other assorted white boy whisperers wrapped in reason bother me for many reasons. This from Tressie McMillan Cottom’s “Thick” captures a big one:
In a discussion of methods and theories and other such things that comprise a significant part of my job, one of the women—we were all women—said assuredly that we have moved on, past black and white. Hence, “black people are over.” I did not feel over and I am most certainly black. But it was said so casually because of the kind of black that I am presumed to be in rooms such as these. There have been many such rooms and I end up in more of them, more frequently, the more I inch up the class ladder. The proclamation makes a mistake of assuming that black people, like me, were only ever a problem and not a people.
We have created a system that has you submit yourself, or your child, to patient hood to access the right to learn differently. The right to learn differently should be a universal human right that’s not mediated by a diagnosis.
No child within the Albemarle County Public Schools should need a label or prescription in order to access the tools of learning or environments they need. Within the constraints of other laws (in particular, copyright) we will offer alternative representations of information, multiple tools, and a variety of instructional strategies to provide access for all learners to acquire lifelong learning competencies and the knowledge and skills specified in curricular standards. We will create classroom cultures that fully embrace differentiation of instruction, student work, and assessment based upon individual learners’ needs and capabilities. We will apply contemporary learning science to create accessible entry points for all students in our learning environments; and which support students in learning how to make technology choices to overcome disabilities and inabilities, and to leverage preferences and capabilities.
They recognize the structural, institutional, and framing problems Jonathan Mooney describes in this great talk on reframing LD and ADHD (which is the source of the title and opening quote in this blog post you’re reading).
An essential component of my journey was an identity transformation from being a patient to being an agent.
Disability industrial complex is all about what people can’t do. We spend most of our time trying to fix what they can’t do. When all we do is fix people the message we give to them is that they are broken.
We’ve built an entire edifice of intervention that’s about fixing people.
We’ve built this whole infrastructure about fixing folks, about turning people into passive recipients of treatment and service, of turning people into patients. But being a patient is the most disempowered place a human being can be.
You gotta fight against this, you gotta be an advocate, you gotta have a voice in your education.
We need to cultivate a sense of agency in people which is the opposite of patient hood.
The most meaningful interventions, the most meaningful people in my life were people who cultivated a sense of agency.
We have a medical community that’s found a sickness for every single human difference. DSM keeps growing every single year with new ways to be defective, with new ways to be lessened.
When all we do is fix people, the message we give to them is that they are broken. Nobody lives a meaningful life feeling broken.
It’s that narrow definition of intelligence, behavior, and motivation that is really my disability. Not dyslexia, not ADHD.
In many learning environments we think good kids sit still. The good kid is the compliant kid.
Young folks like me are given the identity of being bad.
“What is your problem?” If I had a nickel for every time I heard that word in my life.
I was given this identity that I was a problem because of a norm in the environment that good kids sit still.
We’ve built learning environments based on the myth that appropriate and valuable human behavior is about compliance.
I had overcome not ADHD, but I had overcome the feeling of being the defective person morally because I didn’t comply to the myth that good kids are compliant.
That’s agency. That’s somebody who refuses to negate somebody’s humanity because of a label.
Yay. I love this. I was an early beta tester of 1Password for Teams and Families. I like and trust their products. They have earned their great reputation. Moves like this bolster that rep.
Passwords and privacy are important modern literacy. We all need to be learning the habits to protect ourselves. Families need password managers. Employees need password managers. Public education very much needs password managers. Privacy should not be a function of privilege. Equip all students with password managers and include use of them in curriculum. Password and identity management are essential to digital pedagogy and parenting.
Until something better than passwords reaches broad deployment, we must equip ourselves to handle them safely. Let’s teach ourselves, our students, and our kids how to secure the keys to our identity.
K12 classrooms-and most families-have bad password practices. Passwords for Google Classroom accounts are often derived from usernames. That password is then reused when signing up for other online accounts. This violates three of the most important rules of protecting online privacy and identity. From Krebs on Security:
Do not use your network username as your password.
Avoid using the same password at multiple Web sites.
Never use the password you’ve picked for your email account at any online site: If you do, and an e-commerce site you are registered at gets hacked, there’s a good chance someone will be reading your e-mail soon.