Disability Rights Community vs. Autism Speaks

[sent to family and friends]

The letter below is the latest step in a national and international protest against the U.S. organization known as Autism Speaks. Countless attempts have been made to impress upon the organization that its public rhetoric, policies and practices are profoundly harmful to ALL Autistic citizens, and that its leadership MUST accept guidance from Autistic stakeholders and the broader disability rights communities if they wish to retain their status as a prominent charitable organization.

Autism Speaks has thus far been dismissive and even contemptuous in response to such appeals and cautions. It has therefore become necessary, regrettably, to adopt a more aggressive approach to the re-education of Autism Speaks — by first educating their sources of publicity and revenue.

If Autism Speaks cannot be made to sincerely recognize the necessity of giving the voices of Autistic citizens a prominent place in the guidance of its activities — and to act in good faith on that necessity — then the organization must be prepared to face its own extinction.

The global disability community stands united in this demand for just and equitable representation: “Nothing about us without us!”



The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN):

Letter to the Sponsors, Donors and Supporters of Autism Speaks

Petition, open for individual signatories (like you!) to ASAN’s letter:

ASAN website:


More background on opposition to Autism Speaks, their policies and practices, and their recent “I Am Autism” video:

codeman38 — “Do You Know What You’re Supporting?”

codeman38 — A level-headed evaluation of the “I Am Autism” video:
[includes transcript and link to video]

Disabled-World.com — “Autism Speaks – Friend or Foe?”

Club 166 — “When Will They Listen?”

ABFH — A long list of links to blogs and articles in response to “I Am Autism,” plus a few links to video parodies:
[scroll down for link lists]


A few alternative voices [videos]:

Dan Marino Foundation & ASAN, NoMyths.org PSA:

Rethinking Autism: Autistics Speak


Critic of the Dawn
By Cal Montgomery
[a powerful essay that has become a modern classic in disability literature; a must-read for anyone who wishes to understand the dynamics of discrimination, and how society decides whose point of view is worth considering, and who matters, and who doesn’t]



One Response to Disability Rights Community vs. Autism Speaks

  1. Aspiegalier says:

    It’s interesting how Autism Speaks is silent on cases like this where a severely autistic person has been abused by a neurotypical. The most supportive people of bringing justice to the autistic man abused by his deplorable caregivers has been those with HFA and Aspergers. Autism Speaks just doesn’t get it.

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