October 2012



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Archive for October, 2012

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) has issued a statement applauding the National Council on Disability (NCD) for releasing a new report on safeguarding the parenting rights of people with disabilities. On September 27, NCD issued “Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children.” The full text of the report is available on the NCD website. 

The report contains an in-depth policy study combined with real life accounts from parents with disabilities, and provides an overview of factors that both support and impede disabled Americans as they exercise their right to start a family and raise their children. The report enumerates and analyzes the prejudices faced by parents with disabilities by exposing the disparate treatment that disabled parents and their families encounter when they interact with the court systems and with social services. It also offers draft model state and federal statutory language as a step toward correcting the widespread discrimination faced by parents with disabilities in the United States.

“We hope Congress will create legislation as is laid out in this report. Parents with disabilities, including autistic parents, and their children have long suffered from discrimination. Whether it’s been untrained social services employees or disgruntled ex-spouses, there has been a very real danger of being stripped of parenthood for no reason other than one’s disability,” says Melody Latimer, ASAN’s Director of Community Engagement and an autistic parent.


Among the report’s key findings:

  • *Estimates indicate 6.1 million children in the U.S. have parents with disabilities – Nearly 1 in 10, almost 10% of the population.

  • *Parents with disabilities are the only community of Americans who must struggle to retain custody of their children.

    • *Removal rates of parents with psychiatric disabilities is as high as 70 – 80 %
    • *Removal rates of parents with intellectual disabilities is as high as 80%
    • *Extremely high removal rates and loss of parental rights for parents with sensory or physical disabilities.
    • *Parents with disabilities are more likely to lose custody of their children after divorce.
    • *Prospective parents with disabilities have more difficulty when it comes to accessing reproductive health care such as assisted reproductive technologies.
    • *Prospective parents with disabilities face significant barriers to adopting children.

Despite the numerous and pervasive obstacles faced by parents with disabilities, they remain a subpopulation that is frequently overlooked both in the popular consciousness and in national policy. The Autistic Self Advocacy Network stands with disabled parents, including our very own members. We urge state and federal legislatures and offices to take action, and to protect the rights of parents with disabilities.

Delight: Gary Mckinnon, pictured yesterday with his mother Janis Sharp, after finding out that he will not be sent to stand trial in the US

  • Delight: Gary Mckinnon, pictured yesterday with his mother Janis Sharp, after finding out that he will not be sent to stand trial in the US


  • *Gary McKinnon is beginning delicate process of trying to regain mental health after ten years of living in constant fear

  • *He says: ‘It still does not feel real but only now am I starting to feel as if a shutter has flipped up and lifted in my head’

  • *Home Secretary blocked extradition on human rights grounds to protect him from inhumane or degrading treatment

  • *Decision is extraordinary victory for the Daily Mail’s An Affront to British Justice campaign launched three years ago


By James Slack, Michael Seamark and Christian Gysin



American authorities are furious after the British Home Secretary announced that infamous hacker Gary McKinnon would not be extradited to the US to stand trial for the biggest military security breach in history.

Louis Susman, the American Ambassador in London, was left fuming when
he learned of Theresa May’s dramatic halting of Gary’s removal shortly before she rose to deliver her statement to the Commons yesterday lunchtime.

Critics drew pointed comparisons between the McKinnon case and that of
hate preacher Abu Hamza, who was recently flown to the US from Britain on terrorism charges following a long-running extradition battle.

Mrs May supported Hamza’s removal and the US administration had been convinced that she would approve the computer hacker’s extradition. Last night, the US State Department said the American government was examining the decision.

A spokesman said it was ‘disappointed by the decision to deny Gary McKinnon’s extradition to face long overdue justice in the United States’.

And lawyer David Rivkin, former White House counsel to President Reagan and the first President Bush, said the move would go down ‘very badly’.

He said: ‘It’s really deplorable. The justification by the Home Secretary is

‘You have an individual who says he is going to commit suicide – American prisons and penal institutions have an excellent track record of stopping people who are trying to commit suicide.

Read in Full:



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Gary McKinnon’s Extradition  “At last! A minister stands up to Uncle Sam”:


“Gary McKinnon Updates: May’s U-Turn on Us Extradition Treaty”:


“Calls for Overhaul of US Extradition Treaty”:


“Gary McKinnon Update: David Cameron and Barack Obama’s Press Conference: The Main Points”: