Biography


Family portrait

Three generations of women "somewhere on the autistic spectrum"
as depicted by the baby woman, circa 1994


Judy Singer is an Australian Sociologist. She is recognized as being instrumental in the development of  the concept of Neurodiversity while completing an Honours Degree at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in 1997-8.
 
Her study was the first sociological work to inquire into the social context of the emergence of a new kind of disability, the “Autistic Spectrum”. In her work, Judy anticipated the emergence of a “Politics of Neurodiversity” and proposed the addition of Neurodiversity to the categories of intersectional analysis. Her research was based on her experiences “in the middle of 3 generations of women somewhere on the Autistic Spectrum” and on her participation and/or  creation of early online Australian and International AS support groups. 

Being unable to gain recognition for her work in Australia, Judy abandoned academia and put her energies first of all into the urgent necessity of finding paid work for herself and her daughter, into grassroots organizing around her family’s support needs. Online, she founded the world’s first support group for the (adult) children of autistic parents. In Sydney, Judy co-founded ASteen, Sydney’s only family-run social club for Asperger teenagers, and devoted herself to advocacy for public housing and social security rights.

Her work began to gain recognition a dozen years after publication, and she began to be recognised and invited to speak at conferences in 2017. See her most recent list of events here

A more recent portrait of 3 generations of the Singer women