🍂 ASAN September Update 🍂

autumn leaves

ASAN September Newsletter


Dear friends,

As the days grow shorter and the weather turns cold, our work is only heating up! Here’s what we’ve been up to this month to mark the beginning of fall.

To kick off the month, we celebrated Disability Voting Rights Week! We know people with disabilities are affected by policies of all kinds, whether they have to do with COVID-19, reproductive rights, or education—that’s why it’s so important that we have a say. Remember to check your voter registration, and share our resources to others who might need help. You can also save the Election Protection hotline to your phone in case you see voter discrimination – that’s 1-866-OUR-VOTE or 866-687-8683. If you missed our webinar about making a plan to vote, you can catch up here! Our next webinar, on Thursday, October 6th, will be about why it is important to vote, and the third, on October 20th, will be about combating barriers to vote in our communities.

Save the dates! Join us for this year’s virtual gala, featuring events and activities spread across the entire month of November! The gala will be a series of events held every Tuesday in November. There will be lots of exciting ways for you to participate like giveaways, panels, and more. Events will be online across a variety of platforms. We ask that our gala attendees donate if they are able to do so, but donations are not required to attend. We’ll have plenty more to announce soon, like our honorees and speakers!

Policy team members AJ Link and Greg Robinson presented at the Arc’s Disabled BIPOC: Disrupting Danger in Crisis Response conference. AJ & Greg discussed the inadequacy of police trainings, and what we can do instead. You can check out their presentation here!

We also responded to the proposed amendments to Title IX regarding strengthening Title IX’s protections against sex-based discrimination to ensure that all students have equal educational opportunities. In addition to releasing our own comments, we joined the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights on their comments and remain on the lookout for other opportunities to support the strengthening of the rules. 

We also released a statement regarding the final Public Charge rule. ASAN opposed the discriminatory Public Charge rule released by the Trump administration in 2019, which required the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to look at an immigrant’s disability, or use of public beneits, as a reason to exclude someone from the US or to deny a green card. ASAN advocated for the current administration to make changes to the policy in the final rule. The administration has made many of the changes we asked for: DHS can no longer treat disability, use of public benefits, or low income as automatic negatives. This is a win for immigrants with disabilities, but these regulations can only do so much. The very concept of a “public charge” is rooted in ableism, racism, and eugenics, and we call on Congress to eliminate public charge from the law for good. 

Unfortunately, we lost an important battle this month. ASAN is heartbroken and furious that the United States Senate has failed to ban the use of the electric shock devices used at the Judge Rotenberg Center in their final FDA bill. Our community is outraged on behalf of the many disabled people who will continue to experience daily abuse as a result of this decision. But our fight is not over, and we are not giving up. We are exploring ways to include the ban in other must-pass legislation before the end of the year, and we will update our members when next steps are clear. ASAN will continue to use every tool at our disposal and work with state and federal policymakers to end the torture at the JRC and all other uses of aversive treatment. 

Thank you for your continued support and advocacy as we keep working for change together. 


The Team at ASAN

It’s been a year of the policy box! This is our place to discuss some of the smaller, but no less important, things our policy team has been up to this month, since many parts of policy take place behind the scenes and in coalitions, and are not always highly visible. Have you enjoyed reading these? Reply to this email and let us know!

This month, we:

  • Signed onto a letter to Speaker Pelosi encouraging the Senate to discuss and vote on the SCERT Act for Supreme Court ethics reform
  • Endorsed the House version of the Reproductive Health Care Accessibility Act introduced by Congresswoman Cori Bush
  • Urged Congress to move forward with the Respect for Marriage Act by passing it as soon as possible

ASAN also participated in White House discussions on hunger, nutrition and health leading up to the conference. This was the second conference on hunger, nutrition, and health and is the first one since 1969. ASAN is invested in eliminating hunger and food insecurity among the disabled community. This is why we have asked the administration to invest in increasing access to healthy, safe, affordable, and accessible food options. One thing we focused on in our discussions is the way restrictions on SNAP benefits and eligibility make it harder for disabled people to use these benefits, and things that can be done to improve this. These include improving eligibility criteria to better account for household composition, and changing the statute to permit purchase of prepared foods.

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Autistic Self Advocacy Network Comments on Title IX Regulations

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ASAN Statement on Final Public Charge Rule

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Join us for our Virtual Gala!

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Making a Plan to Vote Webinar

screenshot from video "The Inadequacy of Training: Police Interactions with I/DD and Mental Health Disabilities"

Police Interactions with I/DD and Mental Health Disabilities