Below is an email message sent out by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is proud to release our newest advocacy PSA, #StopCombatingMe. Produced in collaboration with We Are St. Elmo’s Fire, #StopCombatingMe provides a powerful perspective on the deeply flawed Combating Autism Act and urges for badly needed reforms and action. You can watch the PSA here.
ASAN is working to try and reform CAA to align its goals with those of the Autistic community: self-determination, community integration, acceptance, and meaningful advocacy. Unfortunately, the usual suspects are lobbying intensely, urging Congress to re-authorize the Combating Autism Act at all costs, even if changes aren’t made to fix the problems hurting self-advocates and our families. In fact, these groups are lobbying to make additional catastrophic changes which would wall the Autistic community off from the protections currently serving the rest of the disability community.
Congress has heard from us over and over again on why this proposed legislation will hurt our community. If we want them to listen, they need to hear from you.
1) Sign our action alert to contact your Members of Congress and ask them to support reforming the Combating Autism Act to make it about supporting autistic people, not “combating” us. Share our action alert with your friends, family and networks to help us get this message out far and wide.
2) Share our PSA and action alert with your friends, families, and networks. Post on social media about why you believe CAA has to be reformed using the hashtag #StopCombatingMe. Tweet our video to your Members of Congress, and post it to their pages with a note to let them know why fixing the Combating Autism Act is so important.
3) Schedule an appointment with your Member of Congress’ District Office. Every Congressperson keeps offices in their home district as well as in DC; constituents can make appointments to visit these offices and express concerns. In-person meetings, even with Congressional staff, are the most effective means of creating real change in legislation. You can use our fact sheet and memo on CAA Re-authorization to guide your advocacy, and share our joint letter from the disability community. Find the district offices nearest to you here. If you have any questions or need help arranging a meeting, ASAN’S Director of Public Policy, Samantha Crane, can be reached at Scrane@autisticadvocacy.org
With the re-authorization bill set to be introduced within the next few weeks, it’s critical that your Members of Congress hear from you now. Tell Congress that it is past time to Stop Combating Autistic People.
Nothing About Us, Without Us!