I’m writing this as a blog post to make it more easily shareable among the non-speaking autistic children and teenagers who are studying via Spelling to Communicate. If you think my vocabulary is too advanced for this audience, then you don’t know what our spellers get to deal with in their lessons! 😉 

Dear Spellers

I am going to do a thing to pave the way for those of you who may someday want to earn money from your talents.

I know that for some of you, full-time work may not be feasible, because the world is not ready to accommodate what you have to offer. I know that sharing your knowledge, insight and opinions is a slow process, and writing a blog post (or a book, like Ido Kedar) takes a long time. I also realise that although some of the most brilliant autistic writers are non-speakers, writing may not be YOUR number one thing. I have numerous disabled friends who are not able to work due to their disability.

But most people don’t even know that you know anything, or that the knowledge and insight you are developing now through your life experience and S2C lessons may someday be worth paying for.

On 12 September, I am going to be one of the speakers at the WiNN Disability Employment Annual Industry Summit in Cape Town. Managers and practitioners from many large companies have been invited.

I have 8 minutes in which I must talk about how to optimise autistic employees such as myself and my speaking friends. I’ll also be on a panel, and later on there is a breakout session of 15 minutes. I have asked to spend those 15 minutes talking about you, and only about you. I want these leaders in the major companies to know about you, and to presume your competence. I want them to know that there are non-speaking children and teenagers out there who could someday become economists, political columnists and and many other things which haven’t even been invented yet, even if the job schedules, the pace of work and structures for participation are not a good fit yet.

I want them to know that non-speakers see the world like no-one else does, and that providing the support needed may give these business leaders access to insights which no-one else can give.

I want them to start getting their minds ready for the day that you are ready.

We may not win this, but we’ll only know if we try.

If there is any special message you want me to pass on, send me a message. I’ll fit in as much as I can.