hazard center

Attention

It’s that time of year again readers! Yep, it’s bio-hazard season! Bio-hazards can easily be prevented by not stepping in blood puddles, or simply not committing murder and leaving the corpses to rot. If you find bio-hazards or toxic wastes in your home, dripping from the ceiling fan or air vents or at your place of work, slowly crawling up the elevator shaft, please contact the Bio-Hazard Control Center for an immediate memory wipe.

Day of the Snowmen End

And with Kim and Ron returning the water to the lake instead of taking it to some hazardous waste center or something, we reach the end of the episode.

That was an amusing episode. Take a bunch of concepts from all episodes, throw them in a blender, add a quarter cup of zombie snowmen and mince. Once again, Summer is basically just a wimpy version of Adrenalynn. It was nice to see Mr. and Ms. P have to deal with this weird stuff again.

I rate this episode a 7/10, actually I’ll give it 8/10 because the music during this episode was quite fitting. (The rocket sled scene and especially the sun’s return)  

ASAN NYC Statement Regarding the AutCom Incident

At the 25th National Autism Committee (AutCom) Convention, an incident took place that demonstrates how far the wider advocacy community has to come in presuming the competence and meeting the access needs of the actual Autistics they purport to serve.

Kassiane Sibley is a prominent Autistic activist who has photosensitive epilepsy that can lead to fatal seizures when triggered. In 2008, she was assaulted at AutCom with a flash camera by a board member. In order to make it safe for Ms. Sibley and other photosensitive epileptics to attend, the AutCom president and board came up with a plan to ensure the safety of all the photosensitive epileptics who would be attending the conference. An email chain among the organizers laid out 5 steps for ensuring all attendees were aware of the safety rules, including: an insert in the handouts given at registration, signs posted around the conference areas, reminders issued by presenters at the beginning of each talk, an explicit consequence of expulsion from the conference for violating the rules, and advance notice for presenters to modify their presentations if needed before the conference.

AutCom failed to take 4 of those 5 steps. As a result, one attendee ended up using the flash on his camera during the first afternoon of the conference.

Ms. Sibley informed AutCom president Emily Titon of this breach of the rules. In accordance with the established and agreed-upon protocol, Ms. Titon attempted to expel the offending person. Several non-Autistic people, including presenter Linda Rammler, board member Anne Bakeman and her son Eric, and Sandi McClennen, who misrepresented herself as a board member, refused to comply and used threats and coercion to prevent Ms. Titon from doing her job. These people told Ms. Sibley that she had no place at AutCom if she could not live with her safety being compromised, and refused to take responsibility for ensuring the safety of photosensitive epileptics at the conference. Worst of all, they suggested that the person who created the hazard was incapable of understanding or changing his behavior because he is a non-verbal Autistic with a history of institutionalization.

Meanwhile, the self-advocate community took matters into their own hands and successfully resolved the conflict. One self-advocate tracked down the offender and his support person and explained what had happened. The person who created the hazard offered to put his camera away for the day in order to ensure the safety of epileptic attendees, and came down to the common area of the conference to deliver an in-person apology to Ms. Sibley for endangering her.

ASAN NYC condemns the way that able people who are used to being in power blamed the victim and talked over the rightful leadership. This hateful, silencing, marginalizing behavior is beyond unacceptable in a space that purports to place the needs and perspectives of actual Autistics first. People who had no authority to do so attempted to talk over and countermand the actual leadership of the organization. These people presumed incompetence for a person simply because of his non-verbal status and personal history. They treated the life-or-death safety of human beings as a lower priority than the comfort of privileged people, and failed to implement the simple and effective safety structures they themselves had agreed on. We celebrate the resourcefulness and resolve of the self-advocate community for managing to author a minimally acceptable solution to the problem in the face of so much needless opposition.

ASAN NYC calls on AutCom to ensure that Anne and Eric Bakeman, Sandi McClennen, and Linda Rammler are removed from positions of power and involvement with their community. We stand behind the Autistic, rightfully elected leadership of AutCom in creating a hazard-free and Autistic-centered culture in their space. This conference could have been a much better event than it was, and we hope in the future that AutCom will be able to realize its full potential as an organization for and about Autistic people.

Helping wildlife in the spring…

As the weather gets warmer, we will inevitably spend more time outside, and so it’s likely that, at some point, you’ll witness some of the hazards faced by our wildlife at this time of year!  Baby birds are very common casualties, more often than not picked up by cats who are poised to pounce as the youngsters start fledging! So you would naturally be tempted to pick up a baby bird that you have found on the floor, but this isn’t always the best course of action…

Follow our chart to see what steps to take when you’ve found a baby bird…

Papua New Guinea hit by 6.8-magnitude earthquake

A 6.8-magnitude earthquake was recorded in Papua New Guinea on Friday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

There no immediate reports of damage or loss of life.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said hazardous tsunami waves were possible within 186 miles of the epicenter of the quake, which was was centered about 70 miles from Papua New Guinea’s capital, Kokopo.

James Dickman (1989)

A train wreck set on fire for training purposes at the Hazardous Materials Transportation Center. Dressed in fireproof suits, participants are taught how to put out fires and plug leaks in tanks containing toxic substances.