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January 2015



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Archive for January, 2015


In December of 2014, 49-year-old Katherine Lavoie was shot by her husband. A month earlier, 29-year-old Daryne Gailey and 6-year-old London McCabe were both killed by their parents.


In the year since our last vigil, our community has lost at least twenty more victims.


In the past five years, over seventy people with disabilities have been murdered by their parents.


Sunday, March 1st, the disability community will gather across the nation to remember disabled victims of filicide–disabled people murdered by their family members or caregivers.
We see the same pattern repeating over and over again. A parent kills their disabled child. The media portrays these murders as justifiable and inevitable due to the “burden” of having a disabled person in the family. If the parent stands trial, they are given sympathy and  comparatively lighter sentences, if they are sentenced at all. The victims are disregarded, blamed for their own murder at the hands of the person they should have been able to trust the most, and ultimately forgotten. And then the cycle repeats.


But it doesn’t have to.


Here’s what you can do in your own community to help spread awareness of these tragedies – and help stop more from happening.


1. Read and share our new Anti-Filicide Toolkit.


This toolkit is intended to provide advocates and allies with concrete tools and resources to use in their own communities, including in response to local incidents. The toolkit includes information about how to understand and respond to filicide, frequently asked questions about filicide, and a guidebook for Day of Mourning vigil site coordinators.


2. Sign up to be a Day of Mourning vigil site coordinator


For the last four years, ASAN, ADAPT, Not Dead Yet, the National Council on Independent Living, the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, and other disability rights organizations have come together to mourn the lives lost to filicide, bring awareness to these tragedies, and demand justice and equal protection under the law for all people with disabilities.


On Sunday, March 1, 2015, ASAN and the wider disability community will be holding vigils to mourn the lives of those we’ve lost and bringing awareness to this horrific trend of violence against our community.


If you’re interested in leading a vigil in your area, please sign up to be a Day of Mourning vigil site coordinator here.

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is now accepting applications for the 2015 Autism Campus Inclusion (ACI) Leadership Academy!


The ACI summer leadership training prepares Autistic students to create systems change on their college campuses. Accepted applicants will travel to Washington, DC and participate in advocacy training from May 30 to June 6, 2015. Participants will acquire valuable skills in community organizing, policy formation, and activism. Travel and lodging are fully covered by ASAN.


View our flyer

Watch the video of our 2013 alumni sharing their experiences


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. We specifically encourage students of color, LGBT 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 February 15, 2015 to Natalia Rivera Morales at NRiveraMorales@autisticadvocacy.org with the subject line “2015 ACI Application”.


View and download the application here


If you need assistance or accommodations at any stage, please contact Natalia Rivera Morales at NRiveraMorales@autisticadvocacy.org.


                      HSC Foundation logo

ACI is made possible with the generous support of the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation and the HSC Foundation. 



Some have an aversion to winter, and can you really blame them? There’s chatter surrounding possible storms or blizzards. There’s loneliness, depression and anxiety that may be coupled with the holiday season. And then there’s the chronic cold that dares people to pack their bags and book a tropical getaway. (Or at least think about making a great escape for warmth.)


However, winter can rejuvenate our spirits. Here are several ways this chilly season can boost our mental health:


Take a wintry stroll.


The cold air reminds us we have no choice but to become aware of what’s around us. We observe our smoky breath from frigid temperatures. We observe the branches that are now bare.


At times, the early afternoon sunlight illuminates these desolate trees and emptiness never seems so captivating and lovely. And when the snow gently covers what we see, there’s a feeling of hope. Anything is possible; nothing is too crazy. Interestingly enough, the winter season is when nature appears to be dying. Yet, the cool, crisp air and the scenic landscape give us a feeling of rebirth.


Our closets are packed with scarves and hats and leather and wool. More important, our layers of clothing serve as insulation — literal armor for what we’ll face in the months ahead. Moments of fear, insecurity, stress and discomfort are already cushioned, already protected by winter’s foundation.



Embrace cozy chats.


We can curl up by the fireplace or anywhere that’s cozy and immerse ourselves in substantive and meaningful conversations. We’re not going anywhere in that moment. We’re here. We’re breathing. We’re alive.


Many shudder at the thought of enduring the winter season. However, taking refreshing and revitalizing wintry strolls, indulging in snowy activities, reveling in indoor fun and embracing cozy chats — dialogues that spark human connection — can be viewed as winter’s more positive aspects.


If it’s autumn’s vibrant and ever-changing nature that perks us up after hot summers, where we slowly maneuver our way through the blazing sun, then it’s winter that really smacks us awake. We’re here. We’re breathing. We’re alive.


Read in Full:



People prone to feeling guilty are amongst the hardest workers, a new study finds.


Not only that but people prone to feeling guilty are also highly ethical and are less likely to take advantage of other people’s skills to get paid more.


The results come from research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, in which psychologists carried out 5 studies to test the effects of feeling guilty on work performance (Wiltermuth & Cohen, 2014).


Dr. Scott S. Wiltermuth, the study’s first author, said:

“Because of this concern for the impact of their actions on others’ welfare, highly guilt-prone people often outwork their less guilt-prone colleagues, demonstrate more effective leadership and contribute more to the success of the teams and partnerships in which they are involved.”


Set against these advantages, though, guilt-prone people may avoid working with others they see as more competent than themselves.


Read More …