❄️ ASAN January Update ❄️

snowy waterfalls

ASAN January Newsletter

Dear friend,

Staying focused on advocacy is snow problem this New Year! ASAN is back in the (virtual) office, working on some of the most important issues facing our community this winter and beyond. 

We had the opportunity to submit written comments for the IACC’s public meeting on January 18th. We urged the IACC to continue to support communication access efforts, promote full compliance with the HCBS Settings Rule, and follow up with the FDA on banning the use of electric shock for behavior modification. This #StopTheShock step comes after the omnibus spending bill, passed in late 2022, authorized the FDA to ban the device. Now the FDA must go through the full rule-making process again, which we urge them to do immediately and efficiently.

Our policy analyst AJ Link joined the Leadership Conference Education Fund to speak about urgent education priorities for 2023. AJ pointed out the need to remove police from schools in order to actually keep students safe. You can watch or listen to the call here.

The time to honor those we’ve lost is fast approaching. On Wednesday, March 1st, the disability community will gather virtually and across the nation to remember these disabled victims of filicide – disabled people murdered by their family members or caregivers. Since 2012, ASAN and other disability rights organizations have come together to send a clear message that disability is not a justification for violence. We’re looking for a dedicated group of vigil site coordinators to host vigils in their communities around the world, whether virtual or in-person. If you’re interested, sign up to be a Day of Mourning vigil site coordinator here. Please only hold vigils in-person if it is safe to do so – for example, outdoors and masked. To learn more about Day of Mourning, see our Anti-Filicide Toolkit.

There are more ways you can get involved with ASAN this year. Applications are open for the 2023 Autism Campus Inclusion (ACI) Leadership Academy! The ACI summer leadership training prepares autistic students to engage in disability advocacy on their college campuses. ACI participants learn about making student groups, understanding disability policy, and talking to people in power. After the Academy, students get help from ASAN to meet their advocacy goals at their college. This year’s program will be held from July 10th through 19th. This year’s program will be held in person, if it is safe to do so. If we cannot have ACI in person, we will hold it virtually. Download your application today!

As we approach the end of winter, we’re facing challenges with renewed hope. Our work to combat discrimination and commemorate the lives of those we have lost reminds us how far we have to go — but we aren’t fighting these battles alone. Let’s continue working to ensure a better world for our community, together.

In solidarity,

The Team at ASAN

New year, same policy priorities! This month, we:

  • Endorsed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which aims to combat gun violence and help equip schools with the resources necessary to keep schools safe.
  • Signed on to the American Association on Health and Disability’s Endorsement and Inclusion statement as part of the All Of Us project, a program to improve health research by increasing inclusion of people with disabilities
  • Prepared for changes to the HCBS Settings Rule coming March 17th
  • Joined the Leadership Conference’s Fair Housing and Lending Press Release on the proposed Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule released in late January

We are also now a member of the U.S. Alliance of Women, Nonbinary Persons, and Other Gender Minorities with Disabilities!

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