Three Words for the Federal Government - Federal Discrimination Act

On the ABC's website, today, an article about how people on the autism spectrum are now required to report their autism and seek assessment for fitness to drive. the new laws came into effect nationally last year. Most states don't have a fine for not reporting, but Western Australia has a $500 fine and Queensland has a $9000+ fine for failure to report a health condition that affects driving.

Image courtesy Australian Brodcasting Corporation.Image courtesy Australian Brodcasting Corporation.

These laws are reasonable for diabetes, heart conditions, etc, as these conditions can lead to a driver passing out at the wheel. They also make sense with people who have poor vision who may be driving without appropriate prescription glasses. For autism, though?! It's a soft fascism. It's like the early, pre-Reichstag fire, reign of the Nazis in 1930s Germany. It is ablist and descriminatory, aimed at demonising a group of people who actually tend to drive very well.

You see, people with "the 'tism" are my people. I have no formal diagnosis but have lived a path and had experiences like so many of my autistic friends. I exihibit montropic behaviour in my workflows. I hold facts in my head that amaze even me that I remembered such trivial points, and hold friends and family to account on those facts. I shall certainly never seek a formal diagnosis as a result of this new Australian driving law.

This new law is also a clear discrimination against perfectly "functional" people under the Federal Discrimination Act. Highly autistic people would struggle to pass a driving test, but those with autism who can pass a driving test are likely to hold rigidly to driving law and assess conditions with rigour. This is how autistic people are, we have a bit of Sheldon Cooper in us. we find alternatives more willingly if we feel convention is inappropriate for a situation and we hold to convention when it's clearly appropriate. We also often understand the physics of driving better than most "normies."

These new standards are an undue, unfair discrimination. Simple as that.


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