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

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

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

November 20, 2019 #ATChat: User Perspectives

I'll be moderating #ATChat, a Twitter Chat on Assistive Technology, on November 20. The chat is 8-9pm EST, and the topic is going to be user perspectives. If seeing the questions ahead of time is helpful for you, they are below. Please wait to tweet your responses until the relevant question is asked, though!

Some people here (like me!) may play multiple roles: AT user, professional, or researcher. If this describes you, feel free to answer from all your roles! #

Q1: Why would you want to include user perspectives? Why is this important?

Q2: What do you use user perspectives for currently? If you use AT yourself, what have you shared your perspectives for?

Q3: What might you want to use user perspectives for, that you currently don’t? If you use AT yourself, where would you like your perspective included better? #ATChat

Q4: How do you include the perspectives, goals, and desires of the users you work with? Or, how are your perspectives as an AT user included? #ATChat

Q5: Where do you look for additional user perspectives, or where do you share your perspective as an AT user?   #ATChat

Q6: What do you think about engagement with social media content by AT users, like blogs, twitter feeds, or transcripts from relevant Twitter chats?  #ATChat
Engagement could include reading and interacting with users and user communities on topics of interest, sharing our content, and other things you might think of. #ATChat

Q7: What work by AT users would you recommend to other participants? (Self-promotion is OK here, for those of us who use AT!)  #ATChat

Friday, November 1, 2019

Literally Speaking About Not-Always-Speaking on Autistics Speaking Day

This Autistics Speaking Day, I presented at the American EducationalStudies Association conference on my paper, “Am I the Curriculum?

Given the origin of Autistics Speaking Day as a response to a Communication Shutdown event, telling neurotypicals to get off social media for the day to simulate and empathise with autistic communication difficulties, I think giving this literal speech on Autistics Speaking Day was fitting.

Autistic people often use tools like social media to support our communication. I believe that our doing so should be considered as the communication support it is, just as augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) researchers do for people they recognize as needing AAC. (I also think speaking autistic people should be recognized as needing AAC. Heck, AAC for everyone. Let's not depend on speech language pathologists specifically, or outsiders in general, to recognize communication difficulties that AAC could help with.)

I use social media to support my communication. That's literally what I'm doing with my blog. That's literally what Autistics Speaking Day is. The Internet is, so often, our lifeline. I am no exception to my statement that speaking autistic people can benefit from AAC, or that social media is part of this.

So speaking about my experience as an AAC user, as someone who often has to use tools other than speech (like social media, but not only social media) to communicate, on Autistics Speaking Day, seems fitting. Advocating for AAC for everyone, which I've said before and will say again, on Autistics Speaking Day, seems fitting.

And speaking back to the awkwardness of entering professional spaces as an autistic AAC user, to advocate for these changes, to advocate for increased access to AAC for us? Yes, that's part of Autistics Speaking Day too.