Thursday, April 2, 2015

Autism Acceptance Challenge 2: Sign the Pledge


Many thanks to all of you who chose to #WalkInRed today, whether or not you participated in the Autism Acceptance Challenge here. For me, this was a much better day than April 2, 2014. I knew I was not alone today, and it made a difference. 


Challenge 1 was about community, solidarity, and taking a stand against the damaging rhetoric of Autism Speaks. Challenge 2 is about making a commitment to meaningful inclusion. 

This is an easy one. To participate, follow this link to sign the Pledge for Autistic Inclusion. Then come back here and let me know in the comments to this post that you did it and why. That's all! Have you already signed the pledge? That counts too, all you have left to do is leave a comment. 

This is the second of 20 challenges. The person completing the most challenges will win a parrot like Squawkers McCaw. 

From the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network:

"Too often, our national conversation on autism is something that happens about us, without us. Organizations, conferences and panels on autism somehow fail to include Autistic voices. We are asking you to be part of the solution. Help us send a message to event organizers across the world - if you want our business, involve self-advocates. It's just that simple. Take our pledge today and share it with your friends."

This is what you will be signing:

"I pledge to only attend, speak at or otherwise participate in autism panels, conferences and events that meaningfully involve Autistic people. I choose not to give my business or my time to settings that fail to include Autistic voices in conversations about autism."

24 comments:

  1. I signed the pledge because I want to help members on the spectrum such as myself everywhere

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  2. No way I'll complete all the challenges, but I'm up to 2 :)

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    1. You never know, Matt. You are in the lead, as the only person so far to complete both challenges!

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  3. I signed the pledge to only participate in autism conferences and events where autistic people are included in a meaningful way.

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    1. Thank you, Urban Farm! So happy to see you here the last couple of days. Squawk.

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  4. I signed last year... Thanks for including our pledge in your challenges!!!

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  5. Done, because this is important.

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  6. We don't have too many of those kinds of events near me, but I'd already signed earlier this week!

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  7. Signed. I'm here to help out whenever and wherever I can!

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  8. I signed the pledge because nothing about us, without us is the way to go! -Jennifer V.

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    1. Yes, it is! Thank you, Jennifer.

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  9. I signed for Liam. He has know his diagnosis since he got it, almost 4 years ago. This year he has become actively involved in deciding coping mechanisms. At only 8 years old, we are helping him to #selfadvocate.

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    1. Thank you Erin and Liam. Squawk!

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  10. Signed: as a mum, as a blogger and as a professional!

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  11. I signed then thought about an autism and employment conference I attended recently where the only input by an autistic person was the inclusion of a video that I missed as the speakers over-ran I had to leave. I gave feedback to the organisers- it really ought to have have had more input from autistic people than it did. One of the speakers talked only about people with Aspergers as though they were entirely different from those other autistic folk- Aspies, she informed us, are highly intelligent and worthwhile folk. She did not say the words autism or autistic once.

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    1. That sort of thing is infuriating whether it comes from non-autistic or "Aspie" speakers. I have really, really, come to hate the term "Asperger's" myself. I know there are still people on the spectrum who feel they need it, but I see it as an obstacle. I am trying to figure out how to change the url for this blog without losing links and traffic.

      Anyway, back to the point. I am glad to hear that you offered feedback to the organizers of that event. Much appreciated.

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  12. I signed the pledge a while back (as Marie Lauzon, my real-life alter ego). Why? Because of course autistics need to not only be represented, but representing at public events! We are not "other" or mere objects of study. We are the discourse.

    I'm proud to say that on April 11, four wonderful autistic women and myself gave a conference to a full house. The event was organized, written, managed, given and administered by us.

    In the audience, we had youth workers, specialized pediatricians, teachers, parents and many, many of our autistic friends. We spoke of sensory issues, overwhelm, motherhood, work, travel and *a lot* about presuming competence and respecting the autistic way of being and communicating.

    It was fantastic!

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