Earlier this month, many in the Autistic community expressed concern when CafePress announced that they would be donating 10% of the proceeds from items tagged “autism” to Autism Speaks. We reached out to our allies in the Autistic blogosphere and social media communities and provided contact info for CafePress executives to help members of the Autistic community express their concern with Autism Speaks’ unethical business practices. Your advocacy made a difference. As many of you are already aware, the following developments have unfolded over the last few weeks:
- CafePress released information on how to opt-out of the fundraiser. This allows shop owners not to donate any money to the fundraiser, rather than being compelled to donate. You can view details here on how to opt out.
- CafePress will not be automatically donating money to Autism Speaks in 2012. Instead, we have been informed by CafePress executives that they will be doing a survey in the month prior to April 2012. This will give everyone the ability to choose which Autism organization will receive funds. As well, CafePress will include opt-out information prior to the fundraiser commencing. All other details are yet to be decided.
- CafePress cut in half the percentage of funds going to Autism Speaks in 2011, and created a survey to choose where the other half of the proceeds from their fundraiser will go. While we oppose the donation of any funds to Autism Speaks, we applaud CafePress for their commitments to the Autistic community for 2012 and for reaching out to our grassroots as to a more appropriate source for the funding. Please consider voting in the survey.
Thank you to each and every person who stepped up to help have the Autistic voice heard. Whether it is opposing the efforts of unethical organizations to speak about us without us or making our voices heard in public policy and legislation relating to the Autistic community, you can make a difference. Keep up the good work and, as always, Nothing About Us, Without Us!