the Clubhouse app icon is a picture of a Black man with a beard and curly hair. He’s smiling and holding a guitar.
the Clubhouse app icon is a picture of a Black man with a beard and curly hair. He’s smiling and holding a guitar.
The Clubhouse app icon.

I’m Autistic, Hard of Hearing, and sometimes my auditory processing is slow, so those are just some of the reasons I don’t really care for listening to podcasts. I love music, but I get tired of listening to people just talk. A person’s voice can also just rub me the wrong way, and certain accents require me to concentrate more. And nothing is worse to me than when people don’t get to the point. I’ve tried speeding up videos and podcasts, sometimes as fast as 1.5x, and still, I’d often rather read the transcript. So when I heard about Clubhouse…

a cartoon image of a woman sitting at a small table with an open laptop. The laptop has a heart on it where the brand show.
a cartoon image of a woman sitting at a small table with an open laptop. The laptop has a heart on it where the brand show.
How to CoWork During a Pandemic image created in Canva by K.Bron Johnson, copyright 2021

I was working from home for years pre-pandemic, and one of the great positives to remote work is being location-independent. I always had the option, if I needed a change of pace or scenery, to pick up and move my laptop to another part of the house, or go out to a cafe or coworking space. If I needed noise and someone to blab to randomly, I could invite another entrepreneur along with me, or work in the same room as my husband. …

heart shaped confetti with icons of people throwing their hands in the air and partying. Blue text ‘my autistic party tricks’
heart shaped confetti with icons of people throwing their hands in the air and partying. Blue text ‘my autistic party tricks’
created in canva by K. Bron Johnson copyright 2021

There is a lot of misinformation or misunderstanding of what autism is and especially what being autistic is like. The media loves to talk about our “special interests” or “savant-like skills” and pigeonhole us into all seeming like maladaptive robots.

The boring truth though is +/- about 2%, the majority of autistic people have the same IQ as the majority of non-autistic people. In other words, we are no more likely to be genius-level or savants than the rest of the population. We are, in many ways, completely average.

What is different and noticeable is the way we store and…

When hot issues are brought up (again and again) by advocates, I often see a few standard reactions from potential or actual allies:

  1. “I’m so angry” — which is nice and all, but your anger is not helpful to me. I need action, which this article will show you how to help in productive ways.
  2. “What can I do to help?” — also good, and this article is for this type of person.
  3. “I can’t deal with your truth, I need to take a break from social media/you/the news/reality” — OK, go do you, Boo!

The first two examples are…

two men in suits face each other in a boxing ring wearing boxing gloves. Text in black reads, ‘DARVO.’
two men in suits face each other in a boxing ring wearing boxing gloves. Text in black reads, ‘DARVO.’
two men in suits face each other in a boxing ring wearing boxing gloves. Text in black reads, ‘DARVO.’ Created by K. Bron Johnson in Canva Copyright 2020

I was speaking with Jessy Santana on her The Way We Work Podcast and she remarked how often for the person causing the microaggression, it’s the first time they are saying it out loud, while for the oppressed person, it’s the hundredth or so time they’ve heard the same thing.

I also notice how it usually takes a few hours or days before the person realizes they said something ridiculous — and then embarrassed, or feeling guilty, they private message me, asking if I have been offended or wanting me to assuage their shameful feelings.

If you have an article about making the workplace or the world more inclusive, we’d like to see it in our publication.

When we talk about inclusion, we include all aspects, especially intersectional issues. If you would like to share your perspective on how you can be better accommodated in the workplace or greater society, please take a moment to comment, or send an email.

Personal experiences/advice or studies/research are best. Please don’t try to speak about what is best for a community you are not part of.

In terms of structure or style edits, there are a few requirements:

a wooden table with four soft pink chairs and two matching dark wood platters are on top.
a wooden table with four soft pink chairs and two matching dark wood platters are on top.
Making Room at Your Table graphic created by K.Bron Johnson, copyright 2020.

Can you imagine an organization said to support Black people with no or just one Black person on the board? It’s like a panel discussing women’s rights with no women (which also happens). It makes no sense.

“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair,” is a famous quote by Shirley Chisholm I often hear in advocacy groups. I still believe it’s sound advice, but it also doesn’t capture how hard it can be for some people to carry around their chair everywhere, all the time. And it takes the pressure off the others…

I wrote the book and titled it, How to Parent Like an Autistic, but what does that mean? And why would anyone want to?

How to parent like an autistic book cover, with the title and author name on the front and an image of two hands shaking.
How to parent like an autistic book cover, with the title and author name on the front and an image of two hands shaking.
How to Parent Like an Autistic book cover. Designed by K.Bron Johnson, copyright 2020

I wrote it simply with the premise that autistic people know what is best for us the vast majority of the time, if not all the time.

With so many forums like, “Ask an Autistic” we know neurotypical (NT) parents want to understand what is going on in their child’s minds. It’s best to ask people with firsthand experience, aka Autistic Adults. Autistic adults know what works best for us and what worked best for us…

A background with a top view of a laptop keyboard and text that reads, the web has become less accessible.
A background with a top view of a laptop keyboard and text that reads, the web has become less accessible.

I attended a talk last year by Mike Gifford where he said, “the web has actually become LESS accessible since 2011.”

It’s cheap and easy for anyone to create a website these days, and hardly anyone considers accessibility. And why would you? If it’s not in your daily purview, it’s not going into your list of website requirements. Heck, most people don’t even think of the end user, Disabled or not, when creating a website. Especially not when they use a “drag and drop” style website creation platform. …

A pole with a green street sign. White text on the sign says, “easy street”
A pole with a green street sign. White text on the sign says, “easy street”
Photo created by K. Bron Johnson, copyright 2020

You know those days where you get to your home door and your arms and hands are full of bags? Don’t you wish you had a button for an automatic door opener?

Maybe it wasn’t til you had to push a stroller that you realized how few ramps there are, or how many steps the Montreal Metro system has.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever taken an elevator one flight when you are perfectly capable of taking the stairs?

Suffice to say, even if you don’t have a disability, I’m sure you’ve still managed to find many accessibility features useful…

KBronJohn

Kelly Bron Johnson is an Autistic and HoH self-advocate, author, and Inclusion and Accessibility consultant for her company, Completely Inclusive.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store