Our projects seek to support our systems change work by improving public understanding of autism, empowering Autistic people to take leading roles in advocacy, and promoting inclusion, self-determination, Autistic culture, and disability rights.
Our current projects include:
Higher education programming
Our higher education projects support autistic college students as they transition to college and advocate for their rights. Our flagship Autism Campus Inclusion summer leadership academy provides a weeklong training for autistic college students who want to create systems change on their campuses. Our handbook, Navigating College, written by and for autistic college students, offers advice to make college work for students with disabilities. We additionally have a college scholarship program, the Autistic Scholars Fellowship, to support campus leadership.
Technical assistance for state-based self-advocates
Our technical assistance work equips self-advocates with developmental disabilities to participate in policy discussions, advocate on a state and local level, and lead their own self-advocacy groups. We offer state and regional leadership academies for self-advocates, and our Pacific Alliance on Disability Self Advocacy provides direct assistance and technical assistance materials for self-advocates on the West Coast and beyond.
Autism Acceptance Month – April is Autism Acceptance Month. During Autism Acceptance Month, we promote acceptance and celebrate autistic people as family members, friends, classmates, co-workers, and community members who make valuable contributions to our world. We do this by sharing positive, respectful, and accurate information about autism and autistic people via our fact sheets, resource pages, and PSAs, sharing the voices and stories of autistic people, and engaging the broader community in new and thoughtful conversations about autism.
The Disability Community Day of Mourning – For the last three 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 at local vigils across the country to mourn people with disabilities who were killed by their parents or caregivers. During the rest of the year, ASAN works to bring awareness to these tragedies, demand justice and equal protection under the law for all people with disabilities, and prevent further murders.