There are lots of ways to volunteer and support the work of ASAN!
Join an ASAN chapter
If there’s a local ASAN chapter, consider getting involved with their activities. Membership in ASAN chapters is open to everyone, but only Autistic people can be Chapter Leaders.
- To find out if there’s chapter near you, click here.
- If you’re interested in starting a chapter in your region, contact our chapter coordinator, Kit Mead, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Help Distribute our Resources
Besides local chapters, there are plenty of ways that you can get involved from home or in your community by distributing ASAN materials, like our policy toolkits and resource guides. We’re always looking for more help in making our resources more accessible. Here are some opportunities open to anyone, Autistic or non-Autistic:
- Help write captions for ASAN video resources
- Write accessible image descriptions for photos, clipart, etc.
- Help translate written resources into accessible/plain language
- Translate materials into other languages
To learn more about these opportunities, email Jean Winegardner at Jwinegardner@autisticadvocacy.org.
You can also help by spreading the word about ASAN’s resources. This can be through posting on social media, referring our resources to people in your community who would benefit from them, or by using our resources in your advocacy work, such as in a state Developmental Disability Council or a meeting with your elected representatives.
You can join us as a member and/or sign-up to get emails from us [link to email page]. We often send out local and national action alerts with instructions about how to get involved in specific actions, for example calling/writing to your state Senators about an important bill.
If you want to help financially support our work, you can work with us to organize fundraising efforts. To learn more about these efforts, email Jean Winegardner at Jwinegardner@autisticadvocacy.org or your local chapter leader.
If you’re interested in legislative/policy issues, you look at our Policy Toolkits and then start working on an issue in your state.
- Click here to see a list of available resource guides from the Pacific Alliance on Disability Self Advocacy, including “Legislative Advocacy 101: Getting Your Voice Heard”
You can also submit personal testimony about how public policies have affected your life as an autistic person. These stories help our policy team advocate for policies that will positively impact the autistic community. You can share your experiences with our policy center at this form.
Organize a Fundraiser
The work we do wouldn’t be possible without our supporters. Almost anything can be a fundraiser – in the past, supporters have set up their own fundraising pages, donated proceeds from product sales, and even held a 72-hour-long Pokemon charity gaming marathon. Have an idea for a fundraiser, or need help getting set up? Send an email to email@example.com, and we’ll help guide you!
Autism Acceptance Month
April is Autism Acceptance Month! You could organize a local Autism Acceptance Month event during April. All month long we’ll also have lots of ways to participate from home. You can read more about Autism Acceptance Month and see examples of past involvement at http://autismacceptancemonth.org/.
Day of Mourning
Every March 1, ASAN and the wider disability community hold vigils to mourn the lives of those we’ve lost and to bring awareness to the horrific trend of violence against our community. Here’s what you can do in your own community to help spread awareness of these tragedies – and help stop more from happening.
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.
- Sign up to be a Day of Mourning vigil site coordinator
For the last five years on March 1st, ASAN, ADAPT, AAPD, 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. Look for opportunities to sign up to be a a Day of Mourning vigil site coordinator on the ASAN website each January.
- Visit the Disability Day of Mourning memorial website
The Disability Day of Mourning memorial website can be found at disability-memorial.org. You can read about all of the currently documented victims of filicide and honor their memory. If you have new information, you can send links to news stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.