🏖️ ASAN July Update 🏖️

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ASAN July Newsletter

Dear friend,

As Disability Pride Month, July is always both a celebration and a reminder. We commemorated the 32nd 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 keep working to make the promise of the ADA a reality ⁠— we hope you’ll join us.

After last month’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturning fundamental rights of bodily autonomy and self-determination, we mobilized to protect people with disabilities against the many direct and ripple effects this decision will have. Our policy team hosted three webinars to help everyone understand what’s going on and why it matters. You can check out these webinars on YouTube here!

We released a statement regarding important new guidance on the rights of students with disabilities. The much-needed clarifications in the guidance are critical for students who might otherwise face discrimination and be excluded from schools because of behavior related to their disabilities.We also sent comments to the Department of Education regarding proposed amendments to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, along with co-authoring comments on 504 for the Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities. ASAN policy staff also attended the July session of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC). Committee members used the two-day session to review a draft strategic plan, which is required by the charter that established IACC. The committee will most likely vote on the proposed draft the next time they meet, in October.

All of our advocacy work is made possible by the ASAN community, including the support of our members. Your donations throughout the year allow us to keep up the fight for disability rights! Signing up for an ASAN membership is easy, quick, and comes with options for a variety of budgets. Interested in becoming a member? Check it out here! We also have scholarship memberships for self advocates who cannot afford to give.

July has been a month of nonstop advocacy on countless fronts. In addition to hosting our third virtual 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 in calling for the Senate to #StopTheShock. With a coalition of national disability organizations, we submitted a letter of support, calling on Senators to pass a ban on the device. It has been a long, difficult battle to end electric shocks for behavior modification and the fight is not over. But when you make calls, you get us closer than ever! Let’s keep placing pressure on our Senators to get this bill across the finish line.

Even during the most difficult times, your advocacy makes progress possible. As always, we encourage all of you to take care of yourselves as well as each other, and to stay safe as we enter the second half of this year.

Wishing you all the best,
The ASAN Team

There are many different parts of policy that go unrecognized! Here’s some of the smaller, but no less important, things our policy team has been up to this month:

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a person editing a documentImportant New Guidance on the Rights of Students with Disabilities a person holding a sign that says Stop the Shocks
A Letter of Support for Legislation Banning Electric Stimulation Devices
a person holding a sign that says Stop the ShocksAction Alert: Congress has the power to #StopTheShock a microphoneASAN Comments on proposed 504 changes