ASAN July Newsletter
This has been a busy month for ASAN, full of advocacy and new resources to share. We celebrated the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a landmark civil rights bill for the disability community. We were also reminded of how far we still have to go to achieve true equality, safety and justice for disabled people. As we head into August, we’re determined to make the promise of the ADA a reality — be on the lookout for our Action August alerts so we can advocate for our community together.
We are heartbroken and outraged by this month’s court decision striking down the FDA’s ban on the graduated electronic decelerator (GED), a skin shock device used to torture people with disabilities at the Judge Rotenberg Center. But the fight isn’t over — the FDA still has ways to re-enact the ban. We’re working hard to put pressure on a number of advocacy targets to end this torture for good. To take action to #StopTheShock, check out these grassroots campaigns.
July has been a month of nonstop advocacy on countless fronts. In addition to hosting our Autism Campus Inclusion Leadership Academy this month, we’ve been fighting for a better world for our community in so many different ways — and so have you! Thank you for joining us for a call-in day yesterday supporting the Better Care, Better Jobs Act, which would provide a critical investment in home-and community-based services and supports for disabled people and aging adults, and strengthen the workforce that provides those supports. We’ll keep advocating for BCBJA to be included in COVID relief.
We released comments and a statement regarding the selection of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) committee members. We are pleased to see a more representative cohort of self-advocates in the IACC, but much more remains to be done in both representation and addressing the many serious ethical problems with federal autism research spending and policy.
Ever wondered what goes into our accessible toolkits? Now you can find out and learn to do it yourself! This week, we released our new guide to writing in Easy Read. We use Easy Read to create advocacy tools and resources for our community — and we hope that you’ll use it in your work too!
We also signed on to a letter to Health and Human Services supporting police-free mental health responses, especially for youth. More than 1 in 5 people shot by police are people with mental health disabilities. Having crisis responses available that do not involve police is critical for the health and safety of our community.
Joining the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and numerous other civil rights organizations, we filed an amicus brief in Britney Spears’ conservatorship case. An amicus brief, also called a “friend of the court” brief, is a way for advocates to tell the court what they think. The brief explains that all people under conservatorship have the right to choose their own lawyer to represent their interests.
Finally, we’re happy to be able to report some good news: California will be paying reparations to some survivors of forced sterilization, something ASAN and a broad coalition of organizations have advocated for. This commitment to survivors of eugenicist violence should serve as a precedent for other states. Disabled people have the right to make decisions about our own bodies, now and always.
As we mark the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we are reminded that when we advocate together, we can change policy — and people’s lives — for the better. We’re honored to advocate alongside you, and we wish you all the best this summer.
The Team at ASAN
One Idea Per Line: A Guide to Making Easy Read Resources
Action Alert: Join our week of action for community living!
Autism Research: Nothing About Us, Without Us!