ASAN is planning further action against Autism Speaks in response to its appalling "I am Autism" video. The following letter to our community from ASAN President Ari Ne'eman details some ways in which you can get involved.
As many of you are aware, Autism Speaks sunk to a new low yesterday - even for them! The "I am Autism" campaign repeats the same tired old lies as the NYU Child Study Center's Ransom Notes ads, which our community successfully stopped in 2007, and goes even further, presenting Autistic people as useless burdens on society, on our families and on the world at large. “I am autism. I have no interest in right or wrong. I will plot to rob you of your children and your dreams….And if you’re happily married, I will make sure that your marriage fails. Your money will fall into my hands, and I will bankrupt you for my own self-gain,” says the video campaign. Full text is available here.
As we did in response to the "Ransom Notes" ads, we are preparing a joint letter from the disability community in response to these horrific statements, which we hope to have available early next week. If you are connected to an organization that might be interested in signing on to such a letter, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.
In addition, we are encouraging people to act immediately by joining ASAN in writing singer Bruce Springsteen, scheduled to participate in an Autism Speaks fundraiser in November, to end his newfound association with this organization that devalues our lives and speaks about us without us. You can contact Springsteen's publicist at email@example.com or by phone at 718-552-7171.
Finally, as we mentioned in our initial press release this morning, ASAN Activists and allies are preparing to confront Autism Speaks fundraising in their own communities. If you would be willing to organize a protest in your community, whether you are a self advocate, family member or other ally, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. There has never been a more important time for our community to assert our voice.
Thank you and, as always, Nothing About Us, Without Us!
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network