The Indigo Wombat (indigowombat) wrote in neuropride,
The Indigo Wombat

The Neuropride Message

Okay, I've done some research, and a little bit of design work. It looks like individually customized t-shirts may turn out to be not cost-effective, but with a little creativity, that can be gotten around. A standardized t-shirt to explain the basics, and buttons to advertise personal idiosyncracies or triggers that we'd like others to know about us at a glance, so they can avoid behaviors or stimuli that can trigger unpleasant consequences for both us and them. I've come up with an initial draft for a possible set of text to display on such a shirt. [EDIT: Whoops! I just realized I didn't clarify in this post that the text below is intended for the BACK of the shirt. The front would have a logo as described below, and much simpler text. Sorry I wasn't clear about that!] Please let me know what you think; what works, what doesn't, what you'd like to see that isn't there. This takes up the maximum available space as it is, so paring it down would be necessary if we were to add anything else. With that in mind, here's what I've got so far:

Autism. Asperger’s Syndrome. Dyslexia. Dyspraxia. Cerebral Palsy. AD(H)D. Tourette’s Syndrome.

When a human brain develops in an unusual way, these and many other conditions can be the result. But they are NOT diseases. They are simply different ways that a brain can be. Another form of diversity. These conditions can cause differences in perception, expression, and internal cognitive processing. They can bring challenges in interacting with the rest of the world. Sensory overload. Unusual ways of moving, speaking, thinking, and behaving. But these idiosyncracies are NOT defects. Such brains merely have different ways of functioning and relating to the world. Brains of this sort are no better or worse than brains with more typical neurology. And many people with such conditions would not want a “cure” if it were available. These differences can often bring significant strengths along with their challenges. And challenges can themselves be a source of strength, inspiring one to push harder and achieve more in life. Many would not want to trade these strengths in order to conform to conventional social behavior. With simple understanding, compassion, and consideration, many of these types of challenges can be compensated for with simple adjustments to one’s sensory and social environment. Simple measures such as dimming lights or lowering voices, allowing a little extra personal space, or giving someone a little extra time to form a thought and finish a sentence, can make an enormous difference in the quality of life of a neurodivergent person. Every brain is different, with different ways of adapting to the world, and it is ineffective and cruel to force each one to behave like a typical brain would. By working with these conditions instead of against them, they can enrich our world with their diverse ways of thinking, perceiving, and expressing themselves.


The first part would be in 36 point font, the bulk of the text in 24 point, and the taglines at the bottom would be 48 point. There would also be a url below the taglines, also in 48 point, to a (not-yet-existing but coming soon) website. The front of the t-shirt would have the image I described earlier, a stylized rendition of a brain seen from above, with the proportions slightly distorted to give a circular shape rather than an elliptical one (to evoke the circular shape of other activist symbols, such as the peace sign or the anarchy symbol). [EDIT: Another thing I forgot to clarify; the contours of the cerebral cortex in that image would be filled in the colors of the rainbow, to represent diversity.] Around this image would be the tagline text "Every Brain is Beautiful."

What do you think? Questions? Comments? Suggestions?
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I like it.

I like it. I'd want one.
giving someone a little extra time to form a thought and finish a sentence

UGH! MY SISTER has absolutely no concept of this! *screams* Shut the hell and let me think! And speak!

But, anyway, I love this idea. I think I'd buy one. Definitely.
I like it.


I doubt many neurotypicals will read the whole thing. Most NTs, in my experience, are intimidated by more than about 2 or 3 lines of consecutive text.
True, and I've considered that. I'm considering cutting it down. However, even if most of them don't read the whole thing, some of them will, and those that don't will at least see enough to be able to go to the website and learn more. It's about getting the idea out there. And some will be interested enough to read the whole thing... when I've had t-shirts with lots of text on the back before, I'd periodically have someone stop me and ask me to show them the back so they could read it. Also good advertising for people behind you in line for various services. Not much else to do when you're in line. So I don't think it loses anything to have the whole thing there, after taking some time to consider the idea. Thanks though! It is a good point.
even while the NTs (i really like that term) might not read it, i've always been fond of a block of text on a shirt. the edges of a single line get lost very easily.
It's pretty cool! Makes a positive statement!
I like it, and the front design as well. :)
Thanks. At this point I've made a minor edit or two just for grammar and clarity, but the amount and type of text is pretty much unchanged. I think this is basically what I'm going with. Might do a little more tweaking and editing, just for clarity, but basically this is it. I currently estimate I'll be ready to start taking orders within a week, and that I'll be able to get shirts out to peole within a month or so, maybe a little longer.
The only thing I might change is to add 'cerebral palsy' to the list of unusual brains. Maybe. It's different than AS, yes, but I know many folks with CP who are very intelligent and strong and incredibly gifted and who have been wonderful advocates for those with disabilities - I'd be pleased to see them included.
Thanks! It's not meant to be a complete list. I tried to get a representative sample though. That's one I missed, though, while I was considering what to put up there. I might want to include it, but then I might have to take another one out, for space concerns. I'll do some research and thinking this weekend. Thanks for the tip! I'll strongly consider this.
I see you have now included CP. I have been debating over Epilepsy, and think it goes along with the others just fine, on balance, but I don't know if there'd be room on the shirt. ;) I'm thinking of other friends and clients of Bridges I know, and myself (haven't had a seizure since I was 15; am I epileptic or not?) and the stereotypes/stigmas still on that.

I should be in bed, but I do like this cause. :)

I wonder if there's a flyer or something I could take to Bridges to give people, or if you could make a .pdf file of such? It'd be neat to have something I could give to staff members, etc. who might like to donate... I'm trying to think of how to help get that ball rolling.

Have you already registered as a 501(c)(3)?
Not yet, on the 501(c)(3). I've been researching that issue pretty thoroughly, and although it's usually done even by churches, tax law doesn't require it of a church, and opinions are divided on whether or not it's a worthwhile process to go through, when an organization that qualifies as a church by IRS standards gets that exemption automatically anyway. This also depends on how quickly it becomes an actual church, and other factors. But two other committed partners who share my vision, preferably locally, is all it will take for us to be a church in the eyes of a ULC, and I'm doing all I can to make sure the IRS will see it that way, too. I'll be consulting with a free business counseling services for small businesses and nonprofits that are just starting out, and that's definitely going to be an issue we'll cover.

I don't have a flyer yet, but that's a good call. It's occurred to me before but I haven't been ready to create one; I think I could do it now, though. Give me a few days... I should have something for you that will work by sometime next week. Thanks for the support. :)
I'm working on a flyer. I'll send it to you later tonight; I need to head out soon. It may be in a Microsoft Word format instead of pdf. Thanks for the help!