I’m a parent of two of neurodivergent kids in Dripping Springs ISD. I advocate neurodiversity, the social model of disability, universal design for learning, and inclusion as frameworks for the ethical and compassionate treatment of neurodivergent kids—and all kids.
This primer on neurodiversity and the social model defines terms and offers the self-advocacy perspective. Please invest a moment in getting in touch with the modern neurodiversity and disability movements. Understanding our point of view and listening to our feedback is vitally important to the future of education and work.
For education to succeed, it must move from the medical and deficit models to the social model. Unfortunately, education in Texas is out of touch and inaccessible. We need vision beyond the deficit and medical models.
We need vision beyond grit and bootstraps.
The project-based learning DSISD is attempting is a positive step toward inclusive education. Teams are the magic of creative industries. Silicon Valley understands the value of teams, particularly diverse and inclusive teams. Companies employing creatives increasingly understand what education must now understand, inclusion is the new normal.
Diversity & Inclusion is a priority at my company, Automattic. We’re not the only ones. There is a rising international Diversity & Inclusion movement, starting in tech. Experimental micro-credential systems are working on Inclusion badges. As pipelines shift from the language of degrees to the language of skills and badges, an inclusion micro-credential will be valuable in industries that increasingly run on diverse, inclusive teams.
To be compatible with contributor covenants and codes of conduct that are a norm in creative communities, public education must be inclusive. The efforts of Texas Values against a transgender student at DSISD breaks the codes of collaboration. Their values are incompatible with neurodiversity, the social model of disability, and the codes of conduct that apply to much of corporate America.
In an era of massive software driven change, the culture of public education should be compatible with the norms of agile teams and distributed collaboration. Self-organizing teams working in open by default, inclusive by default cultures build great things. This is the present and future of work. What we’ve learned over decades of iterating development culture for adult creatives applies also to students.
Our market is the world. Our audience is the world. Designing for the lived experiences of the full spectrum of human diversity requires working inclusively.
Inclusion is the new normal. Inclusion is the way to our boldly better future. Diversity is a fact of the modern world that is good for society and good for business.
Dripping Springs, TX