AuSM Celebrates Interdependence

In the world of disability, we often talk about whether or not someone is independent. We ask if someone lives independently, if they can hold down employment independently, if they can accomplish daily living independently.

What we sometimes don’t recognize is that no one lives entirely independently. Every human relies on others – farmers who grow our food, the workers who pave our roads, the electricity company that keeps our lights on – the list is virtually endless.

This is interdependence. The simplest definition of the word is “the fact of depending on each other.” It refers to the ways that humans build relationships and communities, contributing in different ways and receiving in different ways. It helps us remember that we survive as humans because we are in community.

Throughout our 50th year of service, we were thrilled to create the “AuSM Celebrates Interdependence” initiative. To carry out this initiative, AuSM shared new, original resources with information about relationships, families, environment, and community; hosted educational opportunities connected to interdependence; and sought your questions and concerns to tailor our information to your needs.

AuSM Celebrates Interdependence looks at disability from a new viewpoint that allows to celebrate neurodiversity and highlight the amazing ways that our autistic community members participate in their communities, families, relationships, workplaces, and other spaces.

Throughout the year, we’ll be focusing on four areas of interdependence:

Healthy Relationships
Building Strong Families
Connected Communities
Independence and Interdependence

At the end of 2021, we reached out to our community with a survey asking what you wanted to see in the future. To see the results of that survey, click here.

If you run across any terms or phrases that you’re unfamiliar with, we’ve created a Glossary of Terms to help you navigate these resources and larger conversations within the autism world. Click here to view the glossary.

What are your thoughts?

Zephyr James, AuSM’s Community Engagement Manager, will be connecting with community members will be looking for ways to connect with those we serve in the local autism community. She plans to interact with surveys, focus groups, and discussions aimed at learning more about the needs of our community and how we can meet them. E-mail Zephyr if you are interested in sharing feedback, have topics to suggest, or want to get involved.

E-mail Zephyr