Pro-neurodiversity, pro-vaccines, pro-disability rights, anti-cure.

Now Katy doesn't want to live in Smithton anymore.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Autistics Speaking Day

I'm posting this from the fiance's Mini Cooper.  He has one of those fancy Evo phones that lets him give a wi-fi bubble to nearby friends.  Ooh...just passed a Dairy Queen but we couldn't stop for ice cream.  :(  Anyway, we're on our way to pick up a friend of ours, who is also my maid of honor, from college.  Because at 2 PM tomorrow I have an appointment with David's Bridal to try on wedding dresses, and I wanted her to be there.

Anyway, I've noticed some blogs I follow talking about that "Communication Shutdown" event.  It's been pretty controversial, for reasons people here are probably already aware of, but just in case let's go back over it.

1. Autistic people are not silent, online or offline.

2. Non-autistic people will have no more clue what autistic people's lives are like simply by staying off of Facebook for a day, because while they are avoiding their computer, they are still not autistic.

3. The invention of the Internet has prevented autistic people from feeling so isolated. Autistic people use social networking sites, forums, and blogs to talk to other autistic people, and even nonverbal autistics or autistics who have difficulty effectively communicating have an opportunity to socialize online.

So inspired by Corina Becker, I searched in Facebook for a link to an event that I could invite all my friends to.  There wasn't a Facebook event yet.  But Corina's idea was such a good one and I felt so strongly about it that I spent some time typing out info and created an Autistics Speaking Day Facebook event myself. 

I have about 409 Facebook friends.  I invited all of them.  I'm not trying to steal Corina's idea (in fact, all credit goes to her because I've been a fan for about 6 months since I discovered her blog), but I wanted to get the word out about it because it's so brilliant.

So if you're reading this and want to participate, and you have a Facebook account, go here and RSVP (and then invite all your friends!).  If the organizations that pretend to raise awareness without defining it or making understanding of autism any clearer want to keep doing stupid publicity stunts like this, they can keep doing it, but autistic people aren't turning off the Internet and I hope we'll all be online doing exactly what Corina has suggested.  So when all the "awareness" raisers are done patting themselves on the back and come back to their computers, they'll see we spent the day speaking out.  I think we will  be far more productive, no matter how few people participate.


  1. Thanks for posting this!! Firstly-congratulations on the upcoming wedding! That's wonderful..
    Yeah, I simply don't telling my friends on the spectrum that I'm not going to talk to you today because I'm promoting the idea that you live in silence..!!! WHAT??!! I look back on the early years with some of my kids..a couple of them were non-verbal..but they STILL communicated. All we had to do was listen..No-I plan to be really LOUD on line for that event..I will pop over to facebook and lend my support to what you are setting up-good for you-and thank you. For me AND my children..:)

  2. I am attending your event on facebook as well. I already sort of was familiar with you via the Jenny McCarthy Body Count, and I found the event via Ari Ne'eman.
    I had no idea this was going on, but when I found out, I was really annoyed. It reminded me of a similar event where able-bodied people used wheelchairs for a day to demonstrate how inaccessible most buildings were. Insulting and problematic doesn't even begin to cover it, so I'm glad you're covering this.

  3. Thanks so much to both of you, and I'm very happy that the event is getting the recognition it needs.

    By the way, we are in the news.

    This is one of the best days of my life. I've never been quoted anywhere before.

  4. thanks for posting that article! Its so good to see autistics speaking day in the news! I republished the link you posted on FB as well as invited all my friends to the event as well. :)

  5. Hi Katy,

    Congratulations on the engagement.

    As I often do, I've posted a list of those who will not be shutting down.

    I've added this post & the Facebook page to the list.

    Twitter users can follow two hashtags #AutisticsSpeakingDay (for people with autism participating in social media on November 1) and #AutismShoutOut (for autism allies on the day)

    The Coffee Klatch (TCK) will be hosting a 24 hour autism event: Communicate to Educate

  6. @Liz and Kiwisunset, Thanks! I'm trying to prepare a blog post for Monday.