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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.

Remarks from Julia Bascom at United Nations Autism Event

On April 5th, ASAN’s Executive Director, Julia Bascom, gave the keynote address at the United Nations event on empowering autistic women and girls. You can view a recording of the event here. The keynote starts at minute 48.  Good morning! Thanks so much for having me here today. I...

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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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Remarks from Julia Bascom at the DC DDOM Vigil

Thank you all for coming here today and bearing witness with us to all of the lives taken from us before their time. A theme we heard strongly at last year’s vigils, and that we have continued to hear since, is that these murders and atrocities are a reflection...

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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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