🍂 ASAN November Update 🍂

ASAN November Newsletter

Dear friend,

It was a busy month here at ASAN! While 2022 has been a hard year, this month brought much-needed progress on some issues important to our community, and gave us a chance to celebrate self-advocacy together.

All month long, we’ve been celebrating ASAN’s birthday! If you missed any of our events during our month-long celebration, you can check them out here. Your support makes all of our work difference, and we’re grateful for whatever you can give.

This month saw a big positive development on the #StopTheShock front. After a vote by the membership of Applied Behavioral Analysis International (ABAI), the governing body of ABA practitioners, ABAI now officially opposes the use of electric skin shocks for behavior modification. As of earlier this month, “[ABAI] strongly oppose[s] the use of contingent electric skin shock (CESS) under any condition.” This is the result of years and decades of advocacy from the autistic community and our allies, bringing attention to ABAI’s continued support of the Judge Rotenberg Center and its use of electric shock torture. Let’s carry this momentum into our final push of the year!

We have another legislative opportunity coming up to #StopTheShock: the end of the year omnibus bill. We need Congress to include the ban on JRC’s use of skin shock devices in the end of year omnibus bill. Join us for a virtual Hill Day one week from today on Wednesday, Dec. 7th. We hosted a training about meeting virtually with your representatives, and also have a guide to walk you through everything you need to know. RSVP on Facebook for scripts and tips, then schedule a meeting with your members of Congress!

We are mourning the loss of a legendary advocate and matriarch of the community living movement, Lois Curtis. Lois Curtis was one of two people who sued for their rights in an important disability rights case called Olmstead v. L.C. She died November 3rd at age 55. Because of Lois, people with disabilities have the right to receive services in the community. She was given no option but to live in an institution, but she refused to accept that and created a different path to follow — for herself and for many other people with disabilities. Rest in Power, Lois Curtis.

There is a lot of information about what is happening at the Supreme Court and how it affects our rights, but most of it is not accessible or easy to understand. That’s why we released a new toolkit that talks about the right to privacy, and why it is in danger after the Dobbs decision. It also talks about what we can do to protect our rights. These issues impact people with disabilities, and it’s important that we have accessible information about them.

We also released our annual report, Creating Community, with even more of what we’ve been up to.

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 holiday season.

Wishing you all the best,

The Team at ASAN

These are just glimpses of some of the behind-the-scenes moves that make up policy work. Be sure to check out our annual report for more of our policy priorities.

This month, we:

  • Signed on to a letter calling for full funding of the Social Security Administration (SSA). This funding is incredibly important, as understaffing and budget shortfalls have had a huge negative impact on people just trying to get their benefits. According to AARP, more than 10,000 people die each year before they get a decision from SSA.
  • Called for an extension of the public health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and requiring more than 60 day’s notice when it will end.
  • Endorsed the RESET Act, a very short bill that lets parents recover expert fees in Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) cases if they win them

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