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ASAN Accessibility Resources

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Planning Accessible and Inclusive Organizing Trainings: Strategies for Decreasing Barriers to Participation for People with I/DD

Summary
Historically, people with I/DD have been warehoused in institutions, and there is often a false assumption that we cannot speak for ourselves or be involved in advocacy and community organizing. The idea that we aren’t able to make decisions about our own lives, such as where to live, contributed to this systemic institutionalization. This is why self-advocacy, the ability of people with disabilities to speak for ourselves in order to have control over our own lives, is such an important skill in the disability community. One way that self-advocacy is taught is through leadership and community organizing trainings, where individuals can learn about the societal problems facing their communities and gain strategies on how to address these systemic issues. This paper is intended to address some of the common barriers to our participation in these trainings, and change the way organizers think about people with I/DD.

Developed thanks to generous funding by the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation.
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White Paper: Increasing Neurodiversity in Disability and Social Justice Advocacy Groups by Jessica M. F. Hughes, Ph.D.

Summary
People with disabilities are underrepresented in social justice groups. Even disability advocacy groups tend to exclude members of the disability community, particularly those with mental and cognitive disabilities and those belonging to non-dominant groups, such as people in LGBTQ communities and people of color. This white paper focuses specifically on exclusion experienced by neurodivergent members of the disability community within disability and social justice groups.

The findings discussed here draw on extensive discourse analyses of autism and disability rights advocacy and social justice communication, along with ethnographic fieldwork in disability rights, autistic self-advocacy, and disability justice groups. The paper starts with a discussion of neurodiversity. Next, it outlines ways in which people with neurocognitive disabilities like autism, mental illness, and intellectual disability are routinely disenfranchised from disability and social justice advocacy. The final section offers practical strategies that disability and social justice groups can use to increase neurodiversity and ensure that more neurodivergent community members are better able to access conversations that impact their lives.

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Color Communication Badges

Summary
Color Communication Badges are an accommodation to support social interaction for people with a variety of disabilities and communication needs. Color communication badges were first developed by Autism Network International, and popularized by the Autistic community in Autistic spaces and conferences.

Color Communication Badges offer those who use them an opportunity to communicate explicitly the degree to which they want to participate in new social interactions and with who. They offer a universally designed way of making a conference, university, event or other space more accessible to those who may not find typical nonverbal social cues accessible. Many non-disabled people report that this system also benefits them too.

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Holding Inclusive Events: A Guide to Accessible Event Planning

Summary
Does your self-advocacy organization have events? Do you or your self-advocacy organization want to learn how to make your events accessible to people with disabilities? This guide has the instructions to set up accessible events and conferences. “Accessible” means people can fully participate in conferences. Accessible event planning includes four steps. These four steps are universal design, physical accessibility, sensory accessibility, and cognitive accessibility.

This document was created as a part of ASAN’s Pacific Alliance on Disability Self Advocacy (PADSA). The Pacific Alliance supports self advocacy groups in Oregon, Washington, California and Montana in increasing their ability to organize and advocate in their state and local communities.

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Autistic Access Needs: Notes on Accessibility

Summary
Looking for ways to meet the access needs of Autistic individuals? Do you wish to avoid dropping the ball at your function, get-together, or meeting? The autistic spectrum includes a wide variety of persons with a wide variety of support needs. Planning ahead for your Autistic guests will help establish equal participation.
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Coming soon: ASAN Easy Read Publication Guidelines (and more!)

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