Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Hillary, Alyssa. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Hillary, A. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Legal protections and shaky ground

I have, I think, finally figured out why I felt less safe, not more, after turning in a formal accommodations letter for the first time this past summer. (That was nowhere near the first time I've had those same access needs I've got the letter for met at university. It was just the first time I had to turn in the letter.)

It's a pattern. When I just turned the letter in, without asking first if the professor cared about the letter, I didn't feel less safe after turning it in. (Note to self: Maybe stop asking, since some will care.) When I turned the letter in with a comment of "don't know if you need this or not, but here it is anyways" and I got a response in the area of "thanks but yeah, don't need it," I felt more safe than I had before turning the letter in. But it was the same amount of more safe that I've felt the times the answer has been that the professor doesn't care about the letter.

Which makes me suspect that the letter itself is less than relevant. My having the paperwork to prove I am entitled to "accommodations," as they like to call it when my access needs are met, that's not the issue. (Seriously, y'all aren't changing anything about the class structure when I use AAC, it's important and it's apparently unusual but I don't want to talk about my typing as something that you're accommodating me specially to allow.) My turning in said paperwork is also not the issue.

Depending on an often inaccessible, bureaucratic process that requires a probably-abled "expert" document that I really qualify for the diagnosis I'm claiming accommodations under in order to access my education and my work, on the other hand? That's an issue. Having said process done so it can back me up on the off chance I need it is useful. I'm glad those legal protections exist. They're important. They're good to have as backup. But I don't like relying on the backup any more than the next person. And I'd much rather have access happen because it's what should happen than because some paperwork says it legally has to happen. Or that some part of it legally has to happen -- my paperwork says I get text-to-speech, and that's actually my least-used AAC solution. 

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