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December 2013
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Dear friends,

 

The last year has been a time of an incredible growth for the Autistic community and the neurodiversity movement. Thanks to you, ASAN and our allies have had an impact on the public conversation on autism in an unprecedented way.

 

With your support, we’ve deepened our programming in higher education and employment, with initiatives like our Autism Campus Inclusion Summer Leadership Academy preparing the next generation of autistic leaders. Thanks to you, autistic voices are leading the way on critical issues, like health care transition, organ transplant discrimination and implementation of the Affordable Care Act

 

And yet, despite this progress, our community is under attack.

 

This past week, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that one in twenty parents seeking genetic screening of their embryos at a top Sydney IVF clinic were doing so in hopes of reducing the likelihood of having an autistic child. For years, self-advocates have warned of the resurgence of eugenics de-valuing the lives of autistic people and others with disabilities. Today, we have entered a world in which that risk has become reality.

 

Workers with disabilities can still legally be paid only pennies an hour. Disability shouldn’t have to mean subpar working conditions and a lifetime of socially-sanctioned poverty–but for hundreds of thousands of worker with disabilities all across the country, it still does. In 2013, Massachusetts and Oregon announced their intent to end this practice in response to pressure from advocacy groups and the Justice Department – but the sheltered workshop industry and their lobbyists are still hard at work trying to stop and rollback our progress.

 

In 2014, we will be working to combat these and other threats. By advocating for the inclusion, civil rights, self-determination, and full participation of autistic people and fighting back against those who devalue our lives, we can make a difference. But we can’t do it without your help. Help us create a world that is inclusive and supportive of autistic people by making a donation to support our work in the coming year.

 

If you can, consider making a monthly recurring donation of $25, $50, $100 or another amount that makes sense for your budget. Invest in self-advocate leadership and together, we can build a more inclusive world.

 

Thank you for your support and for your advocacy. As always, Nothing About Us, Without Us!

 

Warm regards,
Ari Ne’eman
President
Autistic Self Advocacy Network



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