Autistic people face discrimination and prejudice in a society which expects us to understand and fit in with social rules that are not of our making. People with autism are also part of the disabled people's fightback. This section includes my work providing 'Autism in the workplace' training and information for trade union representatives, plus campaign news, and personal and political observations.
On 23rd June 2012, Steven Simpson, a gay autistic student, was verbally abused, stripped, and his body scrawled with offensive slogans. He was then doused in tanning oil and 20-year-old Jordan Sheard set fire to his crotch with a cigarette lighter. The flames engulfed his body, his attackers fleeing as neighbours tried desperately to extinguish the flames. Steven died the next day suffering 60% burns.
I will be running a workshop on Autism in the Workplace at the NASUWT South East Regional Conference at the Oxford Hotel, Oxvford.
This poem is about the murder of 18-year-old, gay, autistic student Steven Simpson - and the appalling miscarriage of justice when his killer was prosecuted.
Knives. Forks. Spoons. Obviously.
What other arrangement could it possibly be?
There's a reason that cutlery drawers have three distinct spaces
So we can place our utensils in their correct places
It's forks in the middle, knives and spoons to their border
How could you entertain any other order?
And the little slot, sideways, at the front of the drawer
The Summer 2016 issue of unionlearn's 'Learning Rep' magazine includes an article on 'Changing the way we work', arguing that "Identifying the real roots of workplace stress is the best way to genuinely promote mental and physical health at work."
Janine speaks to Enfield Autistic Adults about our rights at work.