What is NOS Magazine?
NOS Magazine is a news and commentary source for thought and analysis about neurodiversity culture and representation. Expect long form journalism, reviews of pop culture, and more. NOS stands for ‘Not Otherwise Specified,’ a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. A condition is Not Otherwise Specified when it does not strictly fit the diagnostic criteria, or is in some way out of the ordinary. The articles, art and stories published by NOS Magazine will not only be out of the ordinary; they will be extraordinary. All content is written and edited by people who identify with the neurodiversity movement and who are neuroatypical. These are articles written for us, by us.
Why is this important?
We are at a cultural turning point. “Neurodiversity” is beginning to gain mainstream acceptance and traction. In the last ten years, we have become a movement. Our ideas have the power to change the wider culture. NOS Magazine will help those ideas to develop and take flight.
Hundreds of amazing bloggers, critics and activists are working to demonstate that our lives are authentic, rich expressions of human diversity. None of them are being paid for their work, unless they are affiliated with an advocacy organization. NOS Magazine will be able to pay people in our community to share our thoughts and be fairly compensated.
NOS Magazine will also offer a central platform to discuss the current issues and interests of the neurodiversity community. In addition to long form news, we will have pop culture critiques, reviews, art, and so much more. We hope to showcase the full spectrum of human diversity and self-expression.
What do we believe?
NOS Magazine is rooted in the ideas and activism of the neurodiversity movement. We believe that there are many different kinds of brains in our world, and that’s not a bad thing! The neurodiversity movement is about recognizing the legitimacy of different kinds of minds, including those belonging to autistic people, people with ADD/HD, dyslexia, bipolar, Down syndrome and many others. As a part of the disability rights movement, neurodiversity is about fighting for inclusion, legitimacy, accommodation and equality of opportunity for people with all different kinds of brains. We believe:
…that autistic people and people with neurological, developmental, intellectual, psychological and other disabilities have a right to support, inclusion and choice.
…that the focus of societal attention and resources should be to secure those rights and to improve our quality of life, rather than seeking eugenic prevention or ‘cures.’
…that all people with disabilities have a right to be supported with dignity in the communities which we live.
…that institutionalization can and should be a thing of the past.
…that people with disabilities have the right to be supported to be a part of inclusive schools, workplaces and communities.
…that we should be able to see ourselves in our culture and media in a representative way, not through ‘very special episodes’ that present us as objects of pity, burden or inspiration porn.
…that the disability research agenda should better reflect the priorities of those it was created for — people with disabilities ourselves.
…that ethical, legal and social issues in disability research should be addressed and discussed, in order to prevent the profound suffering and loss of human dignity we faced in the 20th century.
…that the neurodiversity movement is about not just political advocacy, but also the emergence of a culture and communal identity of, by and for people with different kinds of minds.
Who will be writing for NOS Magazine?
Anyone and everyone who identifies as neuroatypical is welcome to pitch us a story. Writers and artists of color, women, trans individuals, queer folks, those of us living near or under the poverty line, immigrants and people of varying ability are especially encouraged to contribute.
These are some of the fabulous writers and artists who have already expressed interest in working with us:
- Real Social Skills
- Theories of Minds, one of the people behind #autchat and #neurodiverseSTEM
- Lydia Brown, perhaps better known as Autistic Hoya
- Ari Ne’eman, co-founder of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network
- Amy Sequenzia, non-speaking Autistic activist
- Morénike Onaiwu of the Autism Women’s Network has expressed interest in writing and will also be on the editorial board
- Cassandra J. Perry
- Ozy Frantz
- Julia Bascom, whose forthcoming book The Obsessive Joy of Autism will soon be available on Amazon. Julia is also the deputy executive director of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network.
- Christine Paluch, aka PraxisCat or Ms. Modular
We’re excited to work with so many people with so many unique perspectives, and we’re always looking for more.
Will NOS Magazine be online?
For now, NOS Magazine will only be available online.
How often will NOS Magazine update?
If we meet our goal, we will be able to publish six brand new, original pieces online every week. If we surpass our goal, we may be able to have more frequent updates. The editors will also do regular link roundups to keep you in the know.
Why crowdfund NOS Magazine?
NOS Magazine is, first and foremost, about community. Crowdfunding means that everyone has a stake in the success of NOS Magazine. This magazine belongs to all of us.
What will my money pay for?
Your money will be used for the production and design of the magazine, web hosting fees, technical help to keep it online, and to ensure that our publication is as accessible as possible. Most importantly, your money will be used to pay writers and artists. Writing and art work is work, and in the disability community especially, where our work is too often undervalued, people deserve to be paid fairly.
I have more questions.
We want to personally thank some people without whom none of this would have been possible, including Jim Sinclair and Autism Network International, the editors and writers of the Ragged Edge and Mouth Magazine, and the many other forerunners of neurodiversity and disability rights. I would also like to thank the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and the #autchat team for their support.
Video credit goes to Sam Wen at Bluepoint Freelance.
Logo design credit goes to Sarah Schneider.
Tech credit goWe are raising enough money to operate under the assumption that we will not make any revenue in the first year of NOS Magazine. In a constantly changing journalism landscape, securing ongoing, stable sources of revenue is a challenge. We will be making ad space available and investigating many other avenues of revenue generation so we can continue to pay people for their work.es to Christine Paluch.