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Dear friends,

 

On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office released their report on what would happen if the Affordable Care Act repeal bill passes – and it’s horrifying. Under the proposed plan, 14 million people will lose their health insurance by next year. Over the next 10 years, that number grows to 24 million people. The House is voting on this bill as early as THURSDAY – and we need your help to stop them. Contact your Members of Congress and tell them to vote NO on ACA repeal. You can call over the weekend and leave a message, or make plans to call during the week.

 

As if those numbers weren’t bad enough, the CBO report estimates that Medicaid would lose $880 billion in funding, destroying Medicaid as we know it. Meanwhile, the bill includes $883 billion in tax cuts for the wealthiest 10% of Americans. Here’s what the average person with a disability would get:

  • *An average tax cut of $0

  • *Insurance will be harder to buy, and insurance companies will be allowed to charge more money for worse health coverage

  • *24 million Americans will lose health insurance by 2026

  • *Huge slashes to funding for services people with disabilities rely on every day

 

A plan that takes away coverage from 24 million people is not a replacement for the ACA.

 

There’s no time to waste. Some members of Congress are starting to express concerns about this bill after hearing from you. We need to keep the pressure up and make sure this isn’t just empty talk. You can find contact information for your members of Congress here. Call your Senators and Representative and tell them to vote NO on ACA repeal.

 

Script for calling your Members of Congress: My name is [your full name]. I’m a constituent of [Representative Name/Senator Name], and I live in [your town]. I’m calling to ask [the Representative/the Senator] to vote NO on repealing the Affordable Care Act. [Number of people] of your constituents rely on the insurance they got under the Affordable Care Act. This bill would take lifesaving health coverage away from your constituents, and it would destroy funding for Medicaid services that people depend on to live in the community. A bill that causes 24 million Americans to lose their health coverage isn’t a replacement for the Affordable Care Act. Please vote NO on the repeal.

 

There is a lot at risk in this moment, but we really can make a difference by speaking out. We can stop this.

 

Onward,

 

Julia Bascom
Executive Director
Autistic Self Advocacy Network

 

P.S. –  ASAN’s new plain-language toolkit They Work For Us: A Self-Advocate’s Guide to Getting Through to your Elected Officials includes strategies, scripts, and templates to help you effectively communicate with your elected officials. We also have a separate factsheet on How to Call Your Elected Officials, which has information about how to participate in call-ins if you have phone anxiety or don’t speak.



There’s only a few weeks left to apply for ACI!

 

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is now accepting applications for the 2017 Autism Campus Inclusion (ACI) Leadership Academy! The ACI summer leadership training prepares Autistic students to engage in disability advocacy on their college campuses. Accepted applicants will travel to Washington, DC and participate in advocacy training from June 10th to June 17th. Participants will acquire valuable skills in community organizing, policy advocacy, and activism. Travel and lodging are fully covered by ASAN.

 

Applicants must identify as Autistic and be current college students with at least one year remaining before graduation. The Autistic Self Advocacy Network will cover travel and lodging costs for all ACI students. Students in TPSID programs (Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities), 2-year community colleges, 4-year colleges, and graduate school are eligible to apply. We especially encourage students of color, LGBT students, low-income students, students with intellectual disabilities, AAC users, and students from other or multiply marginalized communities to apply.

 

To apply, please submit a completed application by Sunday, February 19th, 2017 to Reid Caplan at rcaplan@autisticadvocacy.org.

View and download the application here!

 

If you need assistance or accommodations at any stage, or have any questions about ACI, please contact Reid Caplan at rcaplan@autisticadvocacy.org

Download your application today!



Dear friends,

 

A few weeks ago, the Senate took the first steps toward repealing the Affordable Care Act. Since then, you’ve mobilized to defend our health care, calling Senate Committees and asking them not to repeal the ACA without a replacement plan in place – and it’s working. After hearing from so many people about their concerns, the Senate is pushing back the deadline on the budget process. But the people working to take health care away from 18 million Americans aren’t stopping – and neither should we.

 

Many lawmakers have mentioned a repeal-and-replace strategy — but the budget process Congress is using can only be used to repeal. Without a replacement plan in place, it’s estimated that at least 18 million Americans would lose their health insurance within the first year of the repeal.

 

Your advocacy is working, but we have to keep the pressure on the Committees. Use the steps below, and keep calling.

 

1. Find out if either of your state Senators is on the Senate HELP Committee or the Finance Committee. Click here to see the members of the HELP Committee, and click here to see the members of the Finance Committee.

 

2.  If you have a Senator on one or both committees, they should be the primary target of your calls. Senators care a lot about hearing from the people from the state they represent. Find the number for your Senators’ offices here.

 

3. If neither of your Senators is on either committee, you can call the office of the Chair and Ranking Member of each committee:

 

HELP Committee
Chair: Lamar Alexander – (202) 224-4944
Ranking Member: Patty Murray – (202) 224-2621

 

Finance Committee
Chair: Orrin Hatch – (202) 224-5251
Ranking Member: Ron Wyden – (202) 224-5244

 

Here’s a script you can use:

 

Hi, my name is [Your Name] and I’m a constituent of Senator [Name]. I’m calling to ask Senator [Name] to preserve the Affordable Care Act during the budget reconciliation process. Specifically, I’m urging the Senator to defend Medicaid expansion and the premium tax credit. I’m also asking the Senator to take the words of [his/her] colleagues in the Senate to heart and figure out how to replace the ACA before starting to repeal it. Thanks for your time.

 

If you can’t use the phone, you can ask someone to call on your behalf. They can say, “I’m calling on behalf of [Your Name,] who is a constituent of the Senator’s. [Your Name] has a disability and isn’t able to make phone calls, but they want to ask the Senator to to preserve the Affordable Care Act during the budget reconciliation process. Specifically, they’re urging the Senator to defend Medicaid expansion and the premium tax credit. They’re also asking the Senator to take the words of [his/her] colleagues in the Senate to heart and figure out how to replace the ACA before starting to repeal it.

 

Thanks for your time.





There’s only a month left to apply for ACI!

 

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is now accepting applications for the 2017 Autism Campus Inclusion (ACI) Leadership Academy! The ACI summer leadership training prepares Autistic students to engage in disability advocacy on their college campuses. Accepted applicants will travel to Washington, DC and participate in advocacy training from June 10th to June 17th. Participants will acquire valuable skills in community organizing, policy advocacy, and activism. Travel and lodging are fully covered by ASAN.

 

Applicants must identify as Autistic and be current college students with at least one year remaining before graduation. The Autistic Self Advocacy Network will cover travel and lodging costs for all ACI students. Students in TPSID programs (Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities), 2-year community colleges, 4-year colleges, and graduate school are eligible to apply. We especially encourage students of color, LGBT students, low-income students, students with intellectual disabilities, AAC users, and students from other or multiply marginalized communities to apply.

 

To apply, please submit a completed application by Sunday, February 19th, 2017 to Reid Caplan at rcaplan@autisticadvocacy.org.

 

View and download the application here!

 

If you need assistance or accommodations at any stage, or have any questions about ACI, please contact Reid Caplan at rcaplan@autisticadvocacy.org

Download your application today!



Dear friends,

Less than two weeks ago, the Senate took the first steps toward repealing the Affordable Care Act. Since then, you’ve mobilized to defend our health care, calling Senate Committees and asking them not to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement plan in place – and it’s working. More and more Senators are starting to express their hesitation. But the people working to take health care away from 18 million Americans aren’t stopping – and neither should we.

Many lawmakers have mentioned a repeal-and-replace strategy — but the budget process Congress is using can only be used to repeal. Without a replacement plan in place, it’s estimated that at least 18 million Americans would lose their health insurance within the first year of the repeal.

We won’t give up our health care that easily. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Find out if either of your state Senators is on the Senate HELP Committee or the Finance Committee. Click here to see the members of the HELP Committee, and click here to see the members of the Finance Committee.

  2. If you have a Senator on one or both committees, they should be the primary target of your calls. Senators care a lot about hearing from the people from the state they represent. Find the number for your Senators’ offices here.

  3. If neither of your Senators is on either committee, you can call the office of the Chair and Ranking Member of each committee:

HELP Committee

Chair: Lamar Alexander – (202) 224-4944

Ranking Member: Patty Murray – (202) 224-2621


Finance Committee

Chair: Orrin Hatch – (202) 224-5251

Ranking Member: Ron Wyden – (202) 224-5244

 

Here’s a script you can use:

Hi, my name is [Your Name] and I’m a constituent of Senator [Name]. I’m calling to ask Senator [Name] to preserve the Affordable Care Act during the budget reconciliation process. Specifically, I’m urging the Senator to defend Medicaid expansion and the premium tax credit. I’m also asking the Senator to take the words of [his/her] colleagues in the Senate to heart and figure out how to replace the ACA before starting to repeal it. Thanks for your time.

If you can’t use the phone, you can ask someone to call on your behalf. They can say, “I’m calling on behalf of [NAME,] who is a constituent of the Senator’s. [NAME] has a disability and isn’t able to make phone calls, but they want to ask the Senator to to preserve the Affordable Care Act during the budget reconciliation process. Specifically, they’re urging the Senator to defend Medicaid expansion and the premium tax credit. They’re also asking the Senator to take the words of [his/her] colleagues in the Senate to heart and figure out how to replace the ACA before starting to repeal it. Thanks for your time.

 



Dec

23

Dear friends,

 

Today is my last day as ASAN’s President. It’s a bittersweet but exciting moment, as the organization transitions to its next leader, Julia Bascom.

 

It has been an extraordinary privilege to help build the political arm of the neurodiversity and self-advocacy movements. When ASAN first began ten years ago, the Autistic community lacked the means to translate our views into public policy. Today, we have changed that. Policymakers and civil society leaders must take our perspective into account – and know that when they fail to do so, ASAN will be there to fight back.

 

Not only have we helped to change the landscape of autism policy, but we have also worked to promote community inclusion for all people with disabilities. I am particularly proud of this cross-disability work. It reflects our fundamental belief that the values of inclusion, self-determination and dignity apply to every person. Whether it’s fighting to free our people from institutions or speaking out against those who devalue disabled life, we have fought to defend disabled personhood every single day – and will continue to do so, wherever we are.

 

Through advocacy successes like the CMS Home and Community Based Settings rule and ASAN’s successful policy advocacy and litigation activities to close sheltered workshops and expand integrated employment, we have made tremendous progress in opening up the community to all people with disabilities. More work remains to be done, but we have laid the foundation for a more inclusive future.

 

I want to thank all of you for the role you’ve played in building the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and the neurodiversity movement into what it is today. When I founded this organization a decade ago, I could scarcely have imagined the extraordinary impact it would play in our national conversation on autism and disability rights. Your advocacy and support has made that possible – and I know it will continue to do so going forward.

 

I look forward to working with many of you in new adventures over the coming years, as we work to advance the great cause of disability rights. Please don’t hesitate to keep in touch. Going forward, I can be reached at ari@mysupport.com.

 

Thank you, and as always, Nothing About Us, Without Us!

 

Warm regards,

Ari Ne’eman

 

P.S: I hope you’ll join me in wishing Julia the best possible start by making a contribution to support ASAN’s work in 2017. I know better than most how important every contribution is to keeping ASAN’s many activities going. If you’d like to give me a parting gift, please consider making a contribution to welcome in Julia’s new leadership.



Wishing you a warm, wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

Love,

Julie

xx

 



Dear friends,

 

Last week was a trying time for many who work for disability rights in America. Many of you share our deep concern with policy proposals put forward by the new President-elect, including deep cuts in the Medicaid funding that sustains the vast majority of supports to people with disabilities. 

 

Yesterday, we learned that President-elect Trump will be appointing Steve Bannon, former CEO of the “alt-right” media outlet Breitbart, to the position of White House Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor. What views on disability will the President-elect’s most senior advisor bring to the job? E-mails that came to light last month give us a clue.

 

“I’ve got a cure for mental health issue[s]…Spank your children more,” wrote Bannon in an e-mail to another Breitbart staffer who had brought up recent congressional deliberations on mental health policy. 

 

That’s right. Donald Trump’s chief adviser believes that all people with psychiatric disabilities need is a good hard spanking. 

 

I wish I could say I was surprised.

 

This is the same Steve Bannon known for spreading racist, misogynist and anti-semitic faux-news across the internet. The same Steve Bannon who faced domestic violence charges after law enforcement found red marks on the neck of his wife while responding to a “domestic disturbance.” The same Steve Bannon whose ex-wife reported that he didn’t want his daughters “going to school with Jews.”

 

Of course we should know by now that people with disabilities won’t be exempt from this hate. When racism, anti-semitism and misogyny rear their ugly heads, ableism is never far behind. And so we have to be ready.

 

These are trying times. When people like Bannon are elevated to positions of power within our government, it can feel like the sky is falling, that all the work and progress we’ve made over the last ten years is on the verge of collapsing before our eyes. And the situation is indeed very serious. But we’re still here – and we won’t stop fighting for our rights.

 

In the face of these threats to our community, ASAN’s work has become more important than ever. So I’m asking you to make a contribution to help us step up our efforts over the next year to defend the rights of Autistic people and all people with disabilities. The services and policies we depend on require a robust defense – and we need your help more than ever to make that happen. 

 

If you can, consider making a recurring donation, so that we now we can count on your support every month as we defend our community. All your donations are helpful and appreciated – but our recurring donors help us all the more, since your contributions let us plan our efforts with a more complete knowledge of the available resources we can invest in the fight.

 

I also understand and respect that not everyone can donate. Whether or not you can make a financial contribution, please consider ways you can fight for disability rights in your local community. Make sure your school board knows that you support educational inclusion – and will be watching to see how well they enforce children’s rights under IDEA. Speak up when you see an inaccessible building or a business turning away someone because of their disability. Discrimination thrives when we let it. And respond when you hear from us about the need to call your Member of Congress to urge them to vote against proposals to slash the safety net for people with disabilities. If we refuse to sit back and be silent, we can make a difference.

 

Above all, please know that you are not alone. Our community is strongest when we come together. We don’t just fight together, we support each other. We stand with you.

 

As always, thank you and Nothing About Us, Without Us.

 

Sincerely,

 

Ari Ne’eman
President
Autistic Self Advocacy Network



Image result for herbal remedies
 
Doctors warned about the ‘significant’ effects of the natural therapies.
 
Doctors have issued a warning over so-called “natural” supplements after a young autistic boy was left severely ill. The four-year-old ended up in hospital suffering adverse effects from a cocktail of nutritional supplements, physicians at Barts hospital said.
 
He was left with dangerously high calcium levels in his blood, suffered from constipation and lost over six pounds after taking a combination of 12 different complementary therapies.
 
The supplements included camel milk, zinc, vitamin D as well as calcium.

 

The unnamed boy eventually made a full recovery. But doctors were still moved enough to warn consumers about the natural supplements.

 
“His parents were devastated that something they had given to their son with good intent had made him so unwell,” they wrote in the British Medical Journal’s Case Reports.
 
“The safeguarding team became involved as well as the police to investigate the naturopath who had advised the therapies.
 
“Many families view these therapies as safer ‘natural’ options. But as this case demonstrates there can be significant adverse effects which may go unrecognised due to lack of monitoring, recognition and experience with these therapies.”
 
Jane Harris of the National Autistic Society called this an ‘awful case’.
 
Read in Full:
https://uk.news.yahoo.com/warning-after-young-autistic-boy-left-ill-by-105345509.html