The Autistic Self Advocacy Network condemns the White House’s participation in Autism Speaks’ “Light It Up Blue” campaign again this year. Autistic people deserve a government that shows us through their actions that autistic people are listened to, supported, and accepted. Instead, the White House continues to take the lead of an organization that continually disregards the voices of the autistic community.
Acceptance is an action, and the actions of our government at this very moment, as the United States is impacted by COVID-19, deeply affect the lives of autistic people. If the Trump administration truly wanted to support autistic people, they would devote resources toward protecting our community during this crisis, such as by increasing Medicaid funding, ensuring people with disabilities are able to stay in our homes and communities, and securing access to medication. Rather than providing these crucial supports, the White House is once again choosing to ignore our needs in favor of a meaningless PR exercise. Autistic people deserve better.
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.