It’s been a while since I’ve written. In many respects, my blog silence has been a good blog silence. There have been ebbs and flows — negative along with the positive. But I love my job, the students, and the people I work with. I’m mostly trying to figure out how to keep blogging while balancing everything else.

Summer’s ended, and I hope to write here with more regularity again. I’ve also begun re-organizing things on my blog, so there might be some blips with hyperlinks and such for the time being. To start things off, I wanted to post a short video documentary about disability culture, created by The Olimpias. In February, the University of Michigan hosted a three-day symposium on disability culture. It was a really lovely event, directed by Petra Kuppers. The Olimpias, which is the disability performance group that Petra also directs, recently released a 22-minute, open-access, fully subtitled documentary on disability culture and the UM event.

Both Mark Romoser and I are in the documentary. Mark starts off the Aut culture segment around 12 minutes in. The aut culture bits last about five minutes (hooray).

6 thoughts on “Disability/Culture”

  1. I’m glad things have been going so well! Yay for the reorganized blog, and don’t worry about the silence; it happens to almost everyone at times. The new header is great. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Meg! I’m still trying to figure out how to do all of the things I need to do. I think I’m a bit steadier entering Year 2, but things are still a challenge. I miss blogging!

  2. I saw that you were profiled in The Michigan Daily; good for you!

    Near the end of the article you mentioned something that I’ve worried about, too: the question of how much disclosure is too much, and whether there’s a point where disclosure can hurt you more than it helps. I have always erred on the side of telling everyone, since I was diagnosed very young and knew I was autistic LONG before I was able to think critically about whether I should be telling this wonderful fact about myself to all and sundry (I was also a prolific talker). Looking for jobs, I typically out myself to interviewers because I am afraid that I don’t quite pass for normal, and I’m worried they’ll read other things into my slowness, my halting speech — things like stupidity or drug use. But maybe I think I’m doing worse than I am, and they would never have guessed there was anything odd about me if I hadn’t told them, and my telling them makes them think of scary things like ADA compliance and lawsuits, and then not hire me.

    1. Ah yes — disclosure. I’ve been more worried about it lately than I have in the past. When I entered a PhD program, that’s when I made the decision to be completely open about things. Prior to that, I didn’t know how to disclose, or what the consequences might be. But Ohio State was a different sort of place. There was a disability studies program, and for the first time, I got to interact regularly with other autistic people (and develop life-changing friendships).

      But now that I’m not a student, things are definitely… different. There’s less support, for one thing. Part of the difficulty of being at a large research university is that it’s so sprawling and de-centralized. But on top of that, everything is student-focused. As a faculty member, I’ve largely had to figure things out of my own. That’s been rough.

      Also, disclosure has been closer to home now that I’m getting to know more people in my field on a professional level. I’ll be at a conference and someone I don’t know will come to me and talk to me about my blog and the super personal content on there. It’s not that these conversations are bad, per se — I am writing on the internet, after all, and have publicly attached my name to my blog. But it’s also different to talk about these things f2f with colleagues than it is to converse online with autistic people, if that makes sense.

      When I was on the job market two years ago, I outed myself in my cover letter and application materials. In some instances, I think it was a detriment; in others, I think it was a strength. I ended up at a university with a strong disability studies program. So, thankfully, disclosing there seems to have worked out in the end.

  3. Also, Mark Romoser is awesome. I am very much indebted to his analysis of systemic barriers to adequate employment for those autistic people who are able to work.

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