“for many software people, a good deal of self-actualization is involved with becoming a better software professional.”

—Barry Boehm, Software Engineering Economics

Via: Self-determination Theory: Understanding Human Motivation for Fun and Profit | Dr. Leif Singer

Some suggested professional development:

Design is Tested at the Edges: Intersectionality, The Social Model of Disability, and Design for Real Life

Neurodiversity, the social model of disability, intersectionality, and equity literacy are necessary professional development.

For me, the key significance of the “Autistic Spectrum” lies in its call for and anticipation of a politics of Neurological Diversity, or “Neurodiversity”. The “Neurologically Different” represent a new addition to the familiar political categories of class / gender / race and will augment the insights of the social model of disability.

Source: NeuroDiversity: The Birth of an Idea by Judy Singer

Had a nice chat this afternoon with Boston Children’s Hospital’s inpatient neuroscience folks on autism, the social model of disability, identity first language, and designing for pluralism. The best hospital onboarding I’ve experienced.

I updated “Design is Tested at the Edges: Intersectionality, The Social Model of Disability, and Design for Real Life” with selections from “Histories of Violence: Neurodiversity and the Policing of the Norm – Los Angeles Review of Books” to further emphasize nuance and context.

Neurodiversity is a movement that celebrates difference while remaining deeply nuanced on questions of (medical) facilitation and the necessity of rethinking the concept of accommodation against narratives of cure. The added emphasis on neurology has been necessary in order to challenge existing norms that form the base-line of existence: the “neuro” in neurodiversity has opened up the conversation about the category of neurotypicality and the largely unspoken criteria that support and reinforce the definition of what it means to be human, to be intelligent, to be of value to society. This has been especially necessary for those folks who continue to be excluded from education, social and economic life, who are regarded as less than human, whose modes of relation continue to be deeply misunderstood, and who are cast as burdens to society.

Nonetheless, I think it’s fair to say that this enhanced perceptual field is an aspect of much autistic experience and something neurotypicals could learn a lot from, not only with regard to perception itself, but also as concerns the complexity of experience.

What is needed are not more categories but more sensitivity to difference and a more acute attunement to qualities of experience.

Source: Histories of Violence: Neurodiversity and the Policing of the Norm – Los Angeles Review of Books

Instead of being labeled “children with special needs” they are labeled “children with special rights.”

Source: Reggio Emilia | It’s About Learning

No one knows best the motion of the ocean than the fish that must fight the current to swim upstream.” “By focusing on the parts of the system that are most complex and where the people living it are the most vulnerable we understand the system best.” “When we build things – we must think of the things our life doesn’t necessitate. Because someone’s life does.

Source: Design is Tested at the Edges: Intersectionality, The Social Model of Disability, and Design for Real Life – Ryan Boren

I updated “Compassion is not coddling. Design for real life.”, “Design is Tested at the Edges: Intersectionality, The Social Model of Disability, and Design for Real Life”, “Neurodiversity in the SpEd Classroom”, and “Classroom UX: Bring Your Own Comfort, Bring Your Own Device, Design Your Own Context” with a selection from “From Hostility to Community – Teachers Going Gradeless”.

An education that is designed to the edges and takes into account the jagged learning profile of all students can help unlock the potential in every child.

Source: From Hostility to Community – Teachers Going Gradeless

I updated “Bring the backchannel forward. Written communication is the great social equalizer.” with a selection from “Microsoft’s Radical Bet On A New Type Of Design Thinking”.

One day someone will write a history of the Internet, in which that great series of tubes will emerge as one long chain of inventions not just geared to helping people connect in more ways, but rather, to help more and more types of people communicate just as nimbly as anyone else. But for the story here, the most crucial piece in the puzzle is this: Disability is an engine of innovation simply because no matter what their limitations, humans have such a relentless drive to communicate that they’ll invent new ways to do so, in spite of everything.

You could describe this in that old cliche that necessity breeds invention. But a more accurate interpretation is that in empathizing with others, we create things that we might never have created ourselves. We see past the specifics of what we know, to experiences that might actually be universal.

Source: Microsoft’s Radical Bet On A New Type Of Design Thinking: By studying underserved communities, the tech giant hopes to improve the user experience for everyone.