[Image is a poster explaining briefly the origin and meaning of green, yellow, and red interaction signal badges, referred to above as Color Communication Badges.]
CAN WE DO THESE AT CONS
if youre not autistic or suffer from an actual disorder, dont use these. its not cute.
er… you know a lot of autistic people go to conventions, right? And people with social anxiety disorders and panic disorders? Shit if I could get away with using this at work I would.
Hello there, justsjwthings.
I would like to introduce myself. I refer to myself as Sam Thomas, though my legal name and how a lot of people know me is Matthew. I am officially diagnosed autistic.
Over one week in June 2013 (last summer), I was in Washington, DC for an autism conference called the Autism Campus Inclusion (ACI) summer leadership program run by the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network for autistic college students.
If you have any question as to the truth of this, I would like to direct your attention to this YouTube video that ASAN produced promoting the above-mentioned conference. I appear as the first person in the video and you can find more images of my face on my blog.
At this conference, not only did we use these communication badges pictured above, but we actually had the opportunity to meet Jim Sinclair, the inventor of these badges.
During the part of the conference in which Jim Sinclair gave us a history of Autism Network International (ANI)—which they were a co-founder of—they talked to us about the establishment of this particular piece of assistive technology. Basically, it was a simple idea that seemed to fit a need and quickly became very popular among many autistic spaces for it’s practicality and ease of use.
The conference it originated from is called Autreat and is held annually by ANI. This is an autism conference that accepts Autistics and Cousins (ACs)—that is, anyone diagnosed or otherwise self-identifying with any disorder autistic or similar that may share a number of autistic traits.
There was a need. The need was met. This is how we can safely assume most technology either emerges or becomes popular.
We also talked about something called Universal Design and the Curb-Cutter Effect. The Curb-Cutter Effect is when something to fit a specific need is found to create convenience in a broader area than intended. Curb cuts allowing for wheelchair accessibility to sidewalks proved to also be convenient to anyone who may have trouble with steps or even simply a mother with a baby stroller or maybe a child with a wagon. This is a desirable outcome with disability rights advocacy as creating convenience for non-disabled people often makes the assistive technology easier to advocate for.
In this sense, these colored communication badges could serve that Curb-Cutter effect. Not only would this be perfectly acceptable for non-disabled people to use for convenience, but would also help to increase their effectiveness and convenience for those of us who need them. Here are a few examples:
- Increased popularity makes the colored communication badges more easily recognizable to the general public, making them as effective outside the above-mentioned autism conferences as inside.
- Increase in demand would create increase in supply and availability, likely making these available to pretty much anyone and even being included with, say, the name tags you are required to wear at most cons.
- In addition to these helping people recognize the communication state of the wearer, the wearer will be able to recognize whom they can feel more comfortable to approach.
- Increased popularity would make these badges more acceptable for public use and less alienating to those who would wear them frequently.
This is not something that we are completely incapable of surviving without; this is something that was convenient and made our lives a lot easier. If that can be easily shared with the general public, then what purpose does it serve not to share it?
Thank you for reading.