ASAN Seeks Autistic People as Federal Grant Reviewers

12 Dec

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) is looking for Autistics to assist in reviewing grant applications for federally funded research. This follows their Symposium on Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications of Autism Research

The announcement is below:

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network’s Symposium on Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications of Autism Research, funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, was a huge success. The symposium video will be made available in the coming weeks with captioning. We’d like to thank our co-sponsors, the Harvard Law Project on Disability, the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics and the UNESCO Bioethics Chair, American Unit for helping to make this event possible.

Our conversation was broad and wide ranging. Perhaps the most interesting characteristic of the Symposium was the people that came to the table. Our participants – split evenly between self-advocates and researchers – identified a wide number of ways to help advance the inclusion of Autistic people ourselves in the research process. From Community Based Participatory Research processes to greater inclusion of Autistic adults on IRBs and Grant Review panels, a number of actionable next steps emerged from our discussion. ASAN will be following up on this through a series of targeted policy briefs and collaboration with our federal partners to make those ideas reality.

One of the key issues to emerge out of our conversation in Cambridge was the inclusion of Autistic people and other people with disabilities as grant reviewers on federally funded grants. In response to our symposium, several key federal funders have offered to work with ASAN to identify Autistic adults and other people with disabilities interested in serving on forthcoming federal grant review panels.

As a result, we’re issuing a call for resumes from Autistic adults and other people with disabilities who believe in the civil rights/social model approach to disability and want to ensure that self-advocates are represented in grantmaking. Please include any areas of expertise within your resume. Resumes can be sent to info@autisticadvocacy.org with the Subject line GRANT REVIEW.

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4 Responses to “ASAN Seeks Autistic People as Federal Grant Reviewers”

  1. Sullivan December 12, 2011 at 21:33 #

    I applaud ASAN for actively working to pull autistics into the research grant approvals. But, I am very curious as to how people respond to this sentence:

    “As a result, we’re issuing a call for resumes from Autistic adults and other people with disabilities who believe in the civil rights/social model approach to disability and want to ensure that self-advocates are represented in grantmaking. ”

    This is a place where I think ASAN tripped up. “…who believe in the civil rights/social model approach to disability…” shouldn’t be there.

    Autistics of various beliefs should be recruited and represented.

  2. MJ December 13, 2011 at 14:30 #

    “This is a place where I think ASAN tripped up”

    Does that sentence honestly surprise you, coming from ASAN? I am not trying to be obnoxious but I think their goals have been very apparent for a long time now. This is simply the first time that they have been completely blunt about it.

  3. Harold L Doherty December 13, 2011 at 20:08 #

    Will ASAN be looking for persons with severe autistic disorder and intellectual disability to serve as Federal Grant reviewers or will ASAN’s very high functioning autism and Aspergers’ professionals and Board of Directors members continue to pretend to speak on their behalf?

  4. sharon December 13, 2011 at 23:15 #

    I agree Sullivan, if the movement forward to incorporate the voices and rights of disabled people in research is to be successful, it must include the diverse opinions of autistics, not one single narrative. I think the statement does seem to expose ASAN as an organisation with a narrow focus. That could prove to be problemmatic for them in the long run, particularly if they rely on external agencies for funding support.

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