We’re mourning the loss of Mel Baggs, an autistic advocate for disability rights who helped push for a broadened understanding of humanity through neurodiversity.

Mx.Baggs identified as genderless and used the pronouns sie and hir. Sie was a videomaker and writer considered “nonverbal,” yet their film “In my Language” challenged traditional ideas of what is communication and interacting with the world. Their voice will be sorely missed.

Only when the many shapes of personhood are recognized will justice and human rights be possible

Mel Baggs

Our board member Lydia X.Z. Brown was quoted in a Washington Post article about their passing: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/mel-baggs-influential-blogger-on-disability-and-autism-dies-at-39

Sie fought unceasingly for the principles that all people count, regardless of type or degree of disability

Lyda X.Z. Brown

Contributions from Mel Baggs on Self-Advocacy from the blog Not Done Yet – a blog by a Neurodivergent, Autistic person, Jason Ross

I have never been not fearful and but the fear subsided, a little, and I was able to put the fear behind me the more and more I read Mel’s work.  Mel’s work left me in awe. 

Jason Ross