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The ASAN blog includes personal stories of acceptance, self-advocacy, and community, with a particular focus on showing the lived impact of our work.

ASAN’s 2017 Annual Report

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is a national grassroots disability rights organization run by and for Autistic Americans, advocating for systems change and ensuring that the voices of Autistic people are heard in policy debates and the halls of power. Our staff work to educate communities and improve public...

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What Does a Black Autistic Man Look Like?

One of the most accurate metaphors I’ve used to describe my life is this: I’ve occupied several closets simultaneously. To become my most authentic self, I had to emerge from each one and reckon with the conditions that convinced me that I needed to stay inside. In some cases,...

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Before You Donate to Autism Speaks, Consider the Facts

Very little money donated to Autism Speaks goes toward helping autistic people and families....

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I Remember

Trigger/content warning: derogatory language, institutionalization, dehumanizing treatment. My name is Carol Quirk. I’m the Chief Executive Officer of the Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education and a former Board Member of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network. While the majority of my career has been devoted to advocacy and organizational capacity...

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On Both Sides of the Desk

Trigger/content warning: An ableist slur (the R word) is used in a quote within this post. My name is Reyma McCoy McDeid. I’m the executive director of Central Iowa Center for Independent Living in Des Moines, Iowa. The bulk of my career and education has been in the provision...

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Beating Drums: A Dialogue about Black History and Disability Advocacy

Black History Month initially began as “Negro History Week” in 1926. Initiated by Carter G. Woodson, a noted African American scholar, educator, and publisher, the aim was to include into the annals of American history, the significant names and notable accomplishments of its black citizens. Black history is American...

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No Quiet Waters

Growing up with parents who were immigrants from Africa to the United States, I heard a lot of proverbs. I liked many of them, but there were some that I, an autistic child with a very literal mind, simply could not understand. One of those was a proverb that...

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2016 ASAN Gala: Speeches and Award Ceremonies

Below are links to videos and transcripts of speeches given at the 2016 ASAN Gala by our President and our Incoming Executive Director, and videos and transcripts of our award ceremonies. In 2016, we gave the following awards: Ally of the Year, the Harriet McBryde Johnson Award for Non-Fiction...

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ASAN’s 2016 Annual Report

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is a national grassroots disability rights organization run by and for Autistic Americans, advocating for systems change and ensuring that the voices of Autistic people are heard in policy debates and the halls of power. Our staff work to educate communities and improve public...

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Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, LGBT Groups Release Statement on Needs of Trans Autistic People

Today, the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, the National LGBTQ Task Force, and the National Center for Transgender Equality released a joint statement about the needs of transgender and gender non-conforming autistic people and launched a social media campaign with the hashtag #AutisticTransPride to highlight transgender autistic voices and leadership. Earlier...

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