The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is disappointed but not surprised by the White House’s continued participation in Autism Speaks’ “Light It Up Blue” campaign. If the Trump administration truly wanted to support autistic people, they would show us through their actions that we are accepted, rather than taking the lead of an organization that routinely ignores the voices of the autistic community.
Acceptance is an action, and autistic people deserve a government that works for us. We deserve support to get comprehensive health care, inclusive education, housing in our communities, gainful employment, and research to ensure that these supports meet the needs of all autistic people. The Trump administration’s recently-released budget would cut billions of dollars in funding needed to implement these supports. When the White House Lights It Up Blue, they show us that they would rather participate in a PR stunt than address ways that the administration could work to improve our lives.
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization run by and for autistic people. ASAN was created to serve as a national grassroots disability rights organization for the autistic community run by and for autistic Americans, advocating for systems change and ensuring that the voices of autistic people are heard in policy debates and the halls of power. Our staff work to educate communities, support self-advocacy in all its forms, and improve public perceptions of autism. ASAN’s members and supporters include autistic adults and youth, cross-disability advocates, and non-autistic family members, professionals, educators, and friends.