The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is developing a catalog of publications to benefit our community. We released the Navigating College handbook in 2011, the Loud Hands Project anthology in 2012, and an Autism Acceptance e-book in 2013. Additional self-advocacy resources soon to be released include the Empowering Disabled Leaders project, an Employment anthology, and a collection of essays on Relationships and Sexuality. More details about each of these publications can be found below.
The Navigating College handbook provides first-person insights from current and past college students on the autism spectrum, ranging from traditional topics like classroom accommodations and dorm life to hot-button issues such as disclosure and sexuality. Unlike many other resources written by parents or professionals, Navigating College is designed to be uniquely accessible and relevant to Autistic people ourselves. To accompany the book’s release, ASAN launched NavigatingCollege.org — a dedicated website on autism and college issues, which is designed to include other ASAN projects going forward. To order print copies of Navigating College, please visit the University of New Hampshire’s IOD Bookstore, or for more information or questions about bulk orders, please contact Melody Latimer at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, Navigating College is available as a PDF.
Loud Hands: Autistic People, Speaking
The Loud Hands Project (http://theloudhandsproject.tumblr.com/), an initiative under the sponsorship of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, was funded through IndieGoGo to create an anthology titled Loud Hands: Autistic People, Speaking. The anthology, which will serve as the founding document and philosophical guidebook for the project, is dedicated to the radical idea that autistic people have things to say, and is structured around twin themes of simplicity and voice. Simplicity because autism, for all its diversity, isn’t complicated or scary or hard–it just is. Voice because autistic people have voices–otherwise we couldn’t be silenced. These two concepts go hand in hand. Autistic brains are different from non-autistic brains–not better or worse, just different. Autistic voices, similarly, can take different forms or styles or express different things through different means than non-autistic voices. These simple and neutral facts are regularly obscured and overridden by cultural scripts and fallacies demanding broken, voiceless not-people stranded by huge chasms from the rest of the world in place of everyday autistics. Simplicity and voice are routinely sacrificed for dehumanization and spectacle. That’s not our baggage, but when it’s used to silence our voices and to complicate our realities, it becomes our business. The Loud Hands Project is designed as a counter to that, and this anthology points our way forward.
And Straight on Till Morning: Essays on Autism Acceptance
ASAN created our first e-book, And Straight on Till Morning: Essays on Autism Acceptance, as part of our celebration of Autism Acceptance Month 2013. These collected writings, originally posted to our website, build on our tagline for Autism Acceptance Month — “Acceptance is an action.” They are part of an ongoing campaign to shift April from discourse about autism awareness toward discourse about autism acceptance, centering Autistic voices and creating a more inclusive, accepting world. The authors are Autistic people and allies, who write about the need for moving beyond awareness and toward acceptance; the ways in which awareness fails our community; and what acceptance can look like in practice in the community.
Empowering Disabled Leaders
ASAN has partnered with the Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation (DJFF) to work on an Empowering Disabled Leaders project! Colleges and universities benefit from moving attention toward cultivating leadership, communication, and assertiveness skills for students who will soon become part of the real-world workforce. College students with disabilities frequently receive disability accommodations related to the reduction of accessibility and learning barriers. But there has been less focus placed on specialized instruction related to becoming active lifelong advocates for changing social-physical environments to support people with disabilities in schools, workplaces, and communities.
Our project has brought together several self advocates to author a comprehensive booklet that contains information about:
- Establishing campus advocacy groups
- Navigating service provision and accommodations
- Engaging with administration
- Running advocacy-focused campaigns
- Exploring disability studies
An Autistic View of Employment
This anthology takes an honest look at the passions, trials, and tribulations of Autistic self advocates. It is tempered with advice, rich perspectives, and stories. Our contributors share what it feels like to assess where they’ve been in life and where they want to go. They also share lessons they have learned about topics such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and employment, employment scams, characteristics of good managers, and tidbits about disclosure and self care. Other subjects include finding work, Vocational Rehabilitation, networking, resumes, schedules, clear communication, and showcasing your best skills.
Relationships and Sexuality
ASAN’s Relationships & Sexuality project explores many topics including asexuality, exploration of sexuality, nonverbal communication issues, sexual abuse, and many more related topics. The project is authored almost entirely by Autistic self advocates. We are grateful for the opportunity to bring empowering information to the Autistic community, and we appreciate the enthusiastic support we receive. Thank you!