I have made a number of presentations before, at conferences both great and small but never as a "keynote speaker".
That is about to change, I have actually been invited to be a keynote speaker for a conference to be held in Manchester next year, entitled "Theorizing Normalcy and the Mundane", which is a disability studies conference.
This is some step up for me, and all the more inspiring to me because I do not have a single academic qualification in that field at all, just a history of submitting a number of challenging papers in a genre I actually feel very comfortable since for all it deals with "theory" all of that theory comes from a very pragmatic background of dealing with that stuff and dealing with people who deal with that stuff, and dealing with people who administer that stuff in social services, and education and employment.
As Bev has explained in a wonderful graphic way this theory is actually a very practical and real way of dealing with the effects of 'impairment' or 'difference' whatever you call it.
Those who like to deny that find themselves to be in reality part of the same machine that creates the mythos of 'disability' and in effect they are colluding with there own stigmatization.
I shall be tackling the rather unfortunate consequences of an inclusion that is an empty policy without accomodation, negating the notion that one can ever be indistinguishable from ones peers (as that is meaningless) and challenging Wolfensburger's concepts of 'normalisation' and social role valorisation. It's all real world stuff and about the everyday crap that is served up in schools all over the country, indeed over the world, and in the false notions of ABA which in effect are only an extreme of the general ethos of a 'hidden curriculum' of conformity in education.
Dealing with how position and attitude affects the language that is used to describe identical situations but how it puts a pejorative and stigmatising emphasis on the 'deviant' subculture.
My detractors are going to hate this of course, hate it even more because this is not even an autism conference, although autism does inform my perspective, the points have generality beyond that.
So blow as hard as you like, I was not chosen to speak because I have nothing of value to say, and neither because I lack any of the theoretical and practical background to put it into context.