Effective Personal and Political Action in a Mad World

Presenter: Dinah Murray

At: Autscape 2009

Download PDF Handout (1.3 MB)

Description: We will look at the differing strengths of autistic and neurotypical people, and discuss how to harness the best qualities of both in order to act most effectively in society. The workshop will suggest tactics for carrying out effective actions from a position of apparent disempowerment, focussing on dealing with incompleteness, uncertainty and inconsistency in a world fraught with arrogance, hypocrisy and ignorance. A case study will be presented illustrating how potential autistic effectiveness can be thwarted by neurotypical cultural norms. We will discuss the steps which were taken in this case to build up alliances and harness the rules and structures of the NT world to empower autistic advocacy.
Topics covered will include how to
– devote minimum energy to maximum effect
– identify useful allies and connect fruitfully with them
– understand others’ agendas, when they only partly overlap with yours
– maximise credibility
– minimise risk and damage
– minimise hostile attention
– adapt to the private/public boundary
– apply maximally useful pressure while creating minimum turbulence
– communicate key information so it makes a difference.
In general, arrogance and hypocrisy cannot be combatted directly, but ignorance can. The cultural climate does change, and this workshop will help us become more effective at changing it in our favour – and thus creating a world in which we can all be more effective.

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