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Category Archives: Blog

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

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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A voice for all: Why I’m fighting to help Autistic students access the form of communication that works best for them.

This March, I filed a complaint with the Department of Justice on behalf of five non-speaking autistic students in Arlington, VA who use letter-boards to communicate (or, as one of these students has dubbed them, the “Arlington Five”). These students are only a few of the many non-speaking autistic...

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Morénike Giwa-Onaiwu: I Suck At Introductions, But Here’s Mine :)

Enthusiastic two hand wave, gentle (or tight) hugs, fist bump of solidarity, or whatever greetings you prefer! I’m glad to be here with all of you. For those of you who do not know me, I’m Morénike, the newest ASAN Board member. I have been involved in autistic advocacy...

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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 DDOM Founder Zoe Gross at the DC Vigil

I believe everyone should be loved. I believe everyone should be safe. I believe all our lives have value. I believe murder is wrong. I believe the dead should be mourned. I believe we should say their names. Every year I sit down to write and I think that...

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