🎉ASAN November Update 🎉

misty mountains in fall

ASAN November Newsletter

Dear friend,

As we’ve begun wrapping up the year, we’re still hard at work here at ASAN! We’ve celebrated self-advocacy and looked back at the work we’ve done this year, and we’ve continued to work on the issues to come! 

Earlier this month, we celebrated ASAN’s birthday at our 2023 ASAN Gala, featuring a night of panels, awards, and community. In what many consider a post-COVID world, we were excited to celebrate virtually to keep our community safer and spend the night with our friends and allies from around the world. You can check out everything you missed here! Thank you again to our Gold sponsors, ICDL and Verizon, and to our Silver sponsors, Caresource, Centene, Elevance, AAPD, and AT&T.

We also released our annual report, We Weave Our Own Story. Read all about what we’ve been working on in 2023 and read the letter from ASAN’s outgoing Executive Director Julia Bascom. And while you do, know that all of our work is possible because of your support.

This month, ASAN submitted our comments on the proposed updated regulations to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. There have not been updates to the regulations since they came into effect in 1977, and this update is vital because we have the chance to protect the rights of disabled people. Previously, we had applauded the proposed changes and called on our grassroots to comment as well. Thank you to those who joined our webinar “Pushing for Change: Commenting on the Proposed 504 Regulations” and submitted their own comments! It’s important for our community to take the opportunity to tell the government why these changes matter to us.

This month marked a year since Lois Curtis’ passing, and ASAN still mourns for her and celebrates her life. Lois Curtis was one of two people who sued for their rights in an important disability rights case called Olmstead v. L.C. You can read ASAN’s statement remembering Lois Curtis here.

We’re incredibly grateful all of the support from our community during #GivingTuesday this year. Thank you for joining us and showing your support! Our work on safety for our community, fighting for our social safety net, and making autistic voices heard is only possible thanks to your continued support. Whether you’ve become a member, shared our resources, or visited our Action Center to speak out on disability rights issues, we appreciate you!


The Team at ASAN

Our policy team has been hard at work this month — and every month! Check out what ASAN has been up to:

  • We signed on to letter from the The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights supporting civil rights principles for multilingual learner education
  • ASAN endorsed a bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to authorize grants to hire, employ, train, and dispatch mental health professionals to respond instead of law enforcement officers in emergencies involving one or more persons with a mental illness or an intellectual or developmental disability, and for other purposes.
  • We testified in favor of a ban on aversives at a Massachusetts hearing which would end electric shock at the Judge Rotenberg Center
  • ASAN joined 25 disability organizations to send a letter to the Department of Labor calling for an end to the practice of paying workers with disabilities subminimum wage
  • Alongside 100 patient groups and individuals, ASAN signed onto PIPC’s letter to HHS supporting the agency’s efforts to advancing a rulemaking that would update regulations implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
  • We joined dozens of other organizations from the Consortium for Constituents with Disabilities (CCD) in submitting detailed comments on HHS’ proposed update to the Section 504 regulations
  • ASAN helped write and signed onto CCD’s comments on the same proposed regulation
  • We joined over 70 organizations to express our strong support of HHS’ proposed proposed updates to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act to clarify and strengthen protections against the pervasive health care discrimination disabled people experience, especially disabled people of color who are women or gender-expansive
  • With the The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, expressed our strong opposition to S.J. Res. 47, the resolution to disapprove of the Department of Justice rule relating to home confinement under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and to urge the Senate to reject this resolution
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cover of 2023 ASAN Annual Report

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Lois Curtis