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December 2014
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Hi,

 

I want to tell you something exciting. Last June, 15 Autistic college students descended on Washington, D.C. For many, this was their first time in Autistic space; by the end of the week, they were marching confidently into Congressional offices and advocating with poise and skill for our community. Several of these meetings were instrumental in ASAN’s efforts to end the Combating Autism Act. Those 15 students are back on their campuses now, working hard to bring systems change to their colleges, local communities, and states.

 

We’ve held ACI for 3 years now, and in that time we’ve been able to train 47 Autistic self-advocates in grassroots organizing, disability and Autistic history, and policy advocacy.  We do this because ASAN’s motto is that old disability rights slogan: nothing about us, without us! We take as an assumed fact that autistic people should be leading each and every conversation about our community. It is not enough to have some token representation, to have a seat at the table but no voice; autistic advocates deserve meaningful, substantive participation and leadership roles. We’ve been hard at work creating a pipeline of self-advocate leaders who can represent our community with confidence and skill.

 

If I tried to tell you about everything ASAN has worked on this year, we’d be here through to 2015. So I’ll just talk about one more. In March of 2014, ASAN held our largest Day Of Mourning yet, with 25 sites all across the country. But we haven’t taken a break from our anti-filicide work since; we’ve filed amicus briefs, sentencing statements, and letters to the court on multiple cases, and I’ve written more statements mourning murdered members of our community than I really want to count. This has to stop. So we’ve developed and tested an anti-filicide toolkit, for use by members and allies responding to incidents in local communities. We’ll be releasing the final version of the toolkit in January, and gearing up for another Day Of Mourning. I hope you’ll join us.

 

We’re building a network, just like our name says: a deeply connected and highly skilled group of advocates from all across the country with the same values and the same priorities, able to step up wherever we are needed and advocate for the rights of our community. We want to build a world where every autistic person can live a life assured of our rights, in our own communities, safe from harm and confident in our future. And we can’t do it without you.

 

It’s the end of the year for us, and traditionally now is the time when organizations like us ask that, if you like what we’ve been up to, you send a donation our way. It’s an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to do this work for my community, and I’d like to be able to keep doing it for many years. In order to keep going, though, we need your help. Donate now, and help us make sure that whenever our community is being discussed, we are leading the conversation.

 

I’ll see you next year,

 

Julia Bascom

Director of Programs

 

Donate Now!



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