The Autistic Self Advocacy Network seeks to advance the principles of the disability rights movement with regard to autism. ASAN believes that the goal of autism advocacy should be a world in which autistic people enjoy equal access, rights, and opportunities. We work to empower autistic people across the world to take control of our own lives and the future of our common community, and seek to organize the autistic community to ensure our voices are heard in the national conversation about us. Nothing About Us, Without Us!
Who We Are
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization run by and for autistic people. ASAN is a national grassroots disability rights organization for the autistic community. We fight for disability rights. We work to make sure autistic people are included in policy-making, so that laws and policies meet our community’s needs. We work to support all forms of self-advocacy and to change the way people think about autism. Our members and supporters include autistic adults and youth, cross-disability advocates, and non-autistic family members, professionals, educators, and friends.
ASAN works to make our society more inclusive for autistic people. We work to make sure that autistic people are in control in our own lives, and have a say in policies that affect us. We work to protect disability rights and civil rights. We celebrate and promote autistic community and culture. We do this work in many ways, including:
- Policy and legal advocacy
- Making educational resources
- Creating advocacy tools
- Leadership training for autistic self-advocates
There are many issues that are important for autistic people and other people with disabilities. Some of these issues have to do with government, law, and policy. Other issues have to do with how our society treats people with disabilities. ASAN has specific ideas about these important issues. We have ideas about what kind of changes or policies would be best for autistic people. We explain these ideas in our policy statements. We want to make sure that autistic people are involved in making policies and laws that affect us. We want our society to be inclusive and respectful. We want autistic people to have equal opportunities at school and work. We want to improve funding for community services and supports. We want to see more research on the best way to give services and supports. Our position statements have more information about how we work towards making these changes.
ASAN makes different kinds of resources. We have resources about self-advocacy, disability policy, and autistic culture. We also make reports and policy briefs. Our reports and briefs talk about social issues that are important to the disability community. For example, we have reports about access to services and community living. ASAN also makes books. Our books talk about what self-advocates think about different issues and experiences.
Speaking and Consulting
ASAN staff members can give different kinds of presentations. We can make presentations for schools, businesses, and other groups. ASAN can help companies and agencies with different things. For example, we can talk to companies about how to include autistic people, make workplaces more neurodiversity-friendly, and give accommodations. We can also help media and entertainment companies show autism in a respectful and accurate way.
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