Autism Speaks is the organization behind the “Autism Every Day” public service announcement in which their former vice president stated that she considered driving off of a bridge with her Autistic daughter, and only refrained from doing so because she would also have had a non-Autistic child waiting at home; she made this statement on camera with her Autistic daughter in earshot in the room on screen. Autism Speaks is the organization behind the “I Am Autism” public service announcement in which an insidious voiceover claiming to be “autism” detailed all of the tragedy and horror and bad consequences of autism.

Autism Speaks regularly issues propaganda in which they say, “The rate of autism is higher than the rate of cancer, childhood diabetes, and AIDS combined,” which compares a developmental disability to diseases. Their propaganda states that “1 in every 88 children will be diagnosed with autism.” When we turn eighteen, we don’t magically become non-Autistic. 1 in 88 people are Autistic. Autism Speaks would have you believe that we are living tragedies waiting for the day when we can be cured, when nearly every Autistic person I know does not want to be cured and does not believe in this concept of a cure. Curing me of autism conjures the same mentality as the idea of curing me of femininity; it’s so fundamentally perverted and disturbing that words fail to describe how appalling and horrific the idea of severing an essential part of our humanity is to us. No, being Autistic is not sunshine and rainbows. But it is as much a part of who we are as our other attributes.

Among the Autistics who oppose Autism Speaks’s anti-Autistic agenda are people who experience significant disability, people who have been institutionalized, people who have been educated in segregated “special needs” classrooms, people who have their own Autistic children, people who do not speak, people with multiple disabilities, and people who have faced extreme discrimination and prejudice against the disabled. Yet we are precisely the people whom Autism Speaks fallaciously claims to represent, and there is a large and growing number of us, Autistic people, who are vocal and adamant about our contempt for Autism Speaks.

I’m editing this awesome new project in partnership with the Autism Women’s Network, and I hope folks will consider donating if they can to help make this a reality. 

Stay tuned in the next few days, because we’ll be releasing the formal call for submissions then! Until the official thing goes out, questions can be emailed to lydia@autistichoya.com. Thanks everyone!

We matter. We invite you to support us in amplifying the voices of autistic people of color.

Leaving Evidence

I am a proud autistic of color working with the Autism Women’s Network to create the first ever anthology of writings by autistics of color about our lives, our experiences, our histories, our communities, our struggles, our passions, and our resilience. Our stories deserve to be told both for us and for future generations that will come after us. They are stories of segregation in education, police brutality, families of birth, adoption, and choosing, ableism connected to racism, finding community, making home, survival, and resilience.  They are stories of being autistic in a neurotypical world and stories of being racialized in a white-dominant world. 

Disabled, queer, and racialized activist Mia Mingus urges us to leave evidence that we existed so that our stories and our lives will not be erased or forgotten. The Autism Women’s Network is committed to supporting projects that connect disability rights to other struggles and movements. This anthology will help us explore new ground for autistic communities of color whose stories need to be told. 

As an autistic person of color, it’s not uncommon for me to go to autistic community events and find myself to be the only non-white person there or sometimes one of only a few. Yet it is impossible to separate my experiences as autistic from my experiences as a transracial East Asian adoptee. Here’s the important part — I’m not the only one. We are everywhere. Indigenous and native, mixed-race and multiracial, Black, Brown, South Asian, East Asian, of color, racialized — and autistic. Our lives and our stories matter. 

We invite you to support us in amplifying our voices. 

What We Need

We are raising money to cover the costs of printing and publication, which include print and alternate formats, ISBNs so we can place copies in libraries, and small stipends for the project leads. 

Additional funds raised will go toward increasing availability of alternative formats, including online access. Any further additional funds will go to the Autism Women’s Network to support other projects empowering autistic women.  

Risks & Challenges

Because we are soliciting contributions from people who may have multiple disabilities, chronic pain or other illnesses, and language and communication impairments, it is possible we will fall behind schedule. We aim to finish publishing the anthology in 2015, but may need to be flexible about deadlines. 

Who We Are

My name is Lydia Brown (though you might know me better as Autistic Hoya). I’m an activist and writer focusing on violence against multiply-marginalized disabled people, including hate crimes, policy brutality, and prisoner abuse. At present, I am serving on the board of the Autism Women’s Network. I am also president and co-founder of the Washington Metro Disabled Students Collective. I have worked with the Autistic Self Advocacy Network’s national office, and am a past Patricia Morrissey Disability Policy Fellow at the Institute for Educational Leadership. In 2013, I was honored by the White House as a Champion of Change for disability rights. 

The mission of the Autism Women’s Network (AWN) is to provide effective supports to Autistic women and girls of all ages through a sense of community, advocacy and resources. AWN is committed to recognizing and celebrating diversity and the many intersectional experiences of Autistic women.  AWN welcomes all women, supporters of women, those who have at one time identified as women and non binary gender variant individuals.  AWN recognizes and affirms the gender identity of each individual.  AWN also welcomes the support and community of those who do not and have not identified as women as allies to support us in our work.

Other Ways You Can Help

You may not be able to donate money, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help:

  • Ask folks to get the word out and share our fundraiser on social media and in your network! (Indiegogo has some nifty buttons that let you do that.)
  • Consider submitting your own writing or suggesting autistic people of color who may be interested in submitting! 

Thank you so much for your support. Onward!

ugh words whateva

I’ve recently learned that there are a few words I say all the time that are offensive to some people such as “crazy” “dumb” and “lame.” These words can be offensive because they represent long-standing stigmas against mental illness and disability. When people use these words, it can suck a lot for disabled people (/people with disabilities) to hear because it can be a reminder of how part of their identity is stigmatized in society and equated with things that are negative, upsetting, or uncool. This was surprising for me to learn but I think it makes a lot of sense. since I use these words so much and sometimes I feel they so encompass what I’m trying to say, I took a little time poking around on the internet slash my brain to come up with some alternative adjectives that convey the vibes I’m tryna give when I use words like that, but without the ableist connotations. here’s some ideas:

-fricked up

-turdly

-bunk-ass

-wack

-funky

-bleak

-gross

-bogus

-shitty

-gnarly (*or even better is the variation ‘gnarls barkley’)

-sketch

-skeevy

-unbelieveable

-rude

-vile

-terrible

-the worst

also I found “ill-advised” on thesaurus.com but I thought maybe that one could possibly be sort of shitty too because of the word “ill” being used to mean both sick and wrong/bad?? 

anyways, I also found a blog post that explains all of this much better than i can and also has lots of great alternative insults/adjectives so take a gander yall

anonymous said:

Dumb is not a slur.

“I have stated that the reason some words are included while others are not is because some words have oppressive histories and others do not. For example, the word “dumb" has a disability-specific history (referring to people who cannot speak, and often used to refer to Deaf people), whereas the word "obtuse" does not (deriving from a meaning of "beating against something to make it blunt or dull")."

-http://www.autistichoya.com/p/ableist-words-and-terms-to-avoid.html

“ To claim that “dumb” (as in “deaf and dumb”) is not pejorative is not only inaccurate, it is grossly insulting to deaf people. If you know very little about deaf people and Deaf culture, it’s likely you don’t realize that “dumb” in that context is as insulting to a Deaf person as “n****r” is to a black person. It’s an understandable error, but not one that should be tolerated”

-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3ADumb

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/deaf-mum-emma-chevron-shocked-after-being-called-a-dumb-lady-on-receipt-from-mandurah-camera-store/story-fnhocxo3-1226954221570?nk=b8329efbb15df4234b2357025b805b3d

the above is one of quite a few articles you can find on d*mb as a slur continuing to hurt people still today

-matt

anonymous said:

i don't get why people don't like the word aspie? I get high functioning but I see aspie as the shortening word of autistic like 'cannot' into 'can't ' also aspie is much easier to spell it took me months to be able to correctly spell autistic

Aspie is a shortening of Aspergers. Nonspeaking Autistics are rarely described as Aspie. The term Aspie is highly associated with an ideology known as “Apsie Supremacy” http://www.autistichoya.com/2013/05/what-is-shiny-aspie.html (shiny aspie is the same as an aspie supremacist)

That’s why I shy away from the term. 

If you’re not uncomfortable, I’m not doing my job.

I’m not here to reassure you that you’re okay, that you’re not one of them, that you’re not that kind of person. I don’t write to make you feel good about yourself, and I certainly don’t write to stroke your ego. I don’t write because I want people to think well of me, and I don’t write because I want to make excuses or amends. I don’t write because things are good and happy and positive, because frankly, they’re not. I don’t write to reassure you of your own safety in privilege, and I don’t write to appease you or anyone else. And if your feelings get hurt because I’ve spoken truth, then that’s your problem.

I write because I am compelled to shout for justice for my people, and I write because that is the only medium in which I can have full freedom of expression to share my rage and my tears and everything that I am and feel and drown. I write because I don’t have the power and privilege to speak my voice in any other medium without fear of shutdown and de-legitimization and silencing.

My voice is my own, and you cannot and will not silence me or keep my words from mattering. My voice matters and I matter. And I am as I am, not as who you’d like me to be or who you pretend that I am or who you wish I could be in some fantastical dream of yours. My voice is unencumbered with the weight of dishonesty or false courtesy or sugar-coating or mitigation. My voice is mine alone.

arcticgender said:

i rly appreciate ur help in taking down ryan, but using words like stupid when not referring to urself as a disabled person (if u are disabled) is ableist, i can give ya some sources if you want but you can just google 'ableist language' and the first source should be autistichoya or smt

I’m sorry, I wasn’t trying to use it referring to anybody. It was more to quote him, since he’d said ““”“”aave”“”” which is the stupidest most contrived fucking bullshit i have ever seen.” I can put it into quotes to make that more clear if you’d like

When people say “you have an irrational fear of men/cis people/white people/abled people/goyim/etc.” they’re forgetting it’s not actually irrational. My distrust of straight people is based of incredibly informed reasoning. I know from the locker rooms and from basically anything said about bisexuals (and more generally q***r people) ever that if I said who I am to wrong person, I could be the victim of targeted harassment, get beat up, or maybe even get fucking killed. (Being Autistic doesn’t help either: http://www.autistichoya.com/2013/03/this-is-why-i-am-angry.html .)  

Trans women are almost exclusively killed by cis people (especially cis males), so a trans women distrusting me is completely rational. I’m not going to murder random trans women but trans women who first meet don’t know that! All they know is that I’m in the group that are almost exclusively the murderers of trans women—white, cis males. 

It’s the same with every other oppression dynamic with differing degrees of intensity. 

So, trolls, stop giving idislikecispeople this shit, please. 

Chat via Autistic Hoya (Note: The following is sarcastic overdramatization of ableism. It is trigger warned for those who may be triggered by even sarcastic renderings of incredibly ableist ideas.)
  • Conversations that Shain Neumeier and I have (posted with permission!):
  • Me:YOU MEAN PERSON WHO HAPPENS TO HAVE AUTISM
  • Shain:PERSON WHO HAPPENS TO HAVE THE EXPERIENCE OF BEING DIAGNOSED WITH A LABEL OF AUTISM
  • Me:PERSON WHO /UNFORTUNATELY/ HAPPENS TO HAVE THE EXPERIENCE OF BEING DIAGNOSED WITH A LABEL OF AUTISM
  • Shain:TRAAAAAGICALLYYYYYYYY
  • Me:DEEEEEVAAAASTATINGLYYYYYY
  • (for the families, AFFLICTED WITH THE UNHOLY BURDEN OF CARING FOR A CHILD WHO HAPPENS...)
  • Shain:TSUNAMICALLY. (IF THAT ISN'T A WORD YET IT IS NOW. BECUZ TEH AUTIZMZ)
  • Me:ERMERGERD SER SCEREHR
  • Shain:IT'S LIKE THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE AND THE GAY AGENDA COMBINED. THE SOULLESS HUSKS ARE CONTAGIOUS AND STEALING OUR CHIIIIIIIIIILLLDREEEEENN
  • Me:EEEEMMMPTYYYYY SSOOOOOOULLEEESSSSSS HUSSSSKSSSS
  • LOCKING OUR CHILDREN INSIDE THEMSELVES
  • DOOMED TO BE FOREVER ALONE
  • THEIR POOR, PITIABLE PARENTS DESTINED NEVER TO MAKE HUMAN CONTACT WITH THESE INHUMAN CREATURES
  • Shain:THEY CAN'T EVEN TELL THEIR PARENTS THEY LOVE THEM. THROUGH, YOU KNOW, REAL PEOPLE MEANS. LIKE TALKING. BECAUSE THAT'S THE ONLY REAL WAY OF COMMUNICATION.
  • AND THEY TOE WALK
  • TOE WALK I TELL YOU
  • OH THE HUGE-MANATEE
  • Me:AND THEY FLAP THEIR HANDS AND ARMS
  • IT'S SO HORRIFYING
  • THEIR POOR FAMILIES CAN NEVER GO OUT IN PUBLIC
  • Shain:AND THEY WON'T MAKE EYE CONTACT THAT WOULD REVEAL THEIR TRUE SOULLESSNESS.
  • Me:OOHHH IDEA!
  • Shain:OH?
  • Me:MAYBE IF WE SHOCK/RESTRAIN/SECLUDE/CHELATE/HYPERBARIC OXYGEN CHAMBERIZE/UNVACCINATE/EXCORCISE/SCREAM AT/QUIET HANDS THEM ENOUGH, THEY'LL START TO SEEM LIKE /REEEEAAALLL/ PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1!!!!!
  • Shain:YOU FORGOT BLEACH ENEMAS.
  • Me:OH NOEZ! NOW I CAN'T RID MY CHILD OF THIS EPIDEMIC!
  • Shain:THERE IS HOPE IF YOU STOP THE SPREAD OF THE EVIL VACCIIIIINEEEEZ
  • ONLY ONCE THE WORLD IS FULL OF SMALLPOX AND RUBELLA AND WHOOPING COUGH ONCE MORE WILL WE BE RID OF THE PLAGUE THAT IS AUTISM
  • Me:THE HORRIFIC, TRAGIC PLAAAAAGUE
  • Shain:THAT'S CAUSED BY POLLUTION AND THE INTERNET EXCEPT MOSTLY VACCINES.
  • Me:AND A GOVERNMENT CONSPIRACYYYYYYY
  • Shain:WITH THE EEEEEBIL PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIIIIEEEEZ
  • EXCEPT WE LOVE IT WHEN THEY GIVE OUR KIDS RISPERDAL
  • IT MAKES THEM SLIGHTLY MORE LIKE PEOPLE.
  • Me:AND OTHER PSYCHOTROPIC, ANTI-PSYCHOTIC DRUGS
  • Shain:EXCEPT SHOCKING THEM IS BETTER. AND THOSE ARE THE ONLY OPTIONS, EVER.
  • Me:BETTER IDEA.
  • Shain:WHAT
  • Me:HOW ABOUT WE PUT THEM ON ANTI-PSYCHOTICS /WHILE/ SHOCKING THEM?!?!
  • Shain:THAT WAY WE ELIMINATE ALL THE BEHAVIORS. BECAUSE THAT'S HOW PEOPLE WORK. YOU MINDFUCK THEM AND TORTURE THEM AND THEY DO WHAT THEY'RE TOLD.
  • Me:YOU CAN HOLD UP A REMOTE CONTROL AND THEY'LL ACT LIKE HUMANS.
  • IT'S SO CONVENIENT.
  • Shain:BECAUSE HUMANS ARE REMOTE OPERATED. I BOUGHT MINE AT RADIOSHACK
  • Me:I BOUGHT MINE AT BEST BUY.
  • Shain:THIS ONE'S DEFECTIVE THOUGH. AND I'D RATHER KILL IT THAN SEE IT CLOSE ITS EYES FOR TEN SECO- I MEAN, HIT ITS HEAD AGAINST THE WALL REPEATEDLY TILL IT NEEDS HOSPITALIZATION. FATE WORSE THAN DEATH I SAY.
  • Me:IT SHOULDN'T BE SUFFERED TO LIVE ANY LONGER
  • Shain:UNLESS IT'S BEING SHOCKED AND RESTRAINED.
  • Me:AND THEN, IT SHOULD BE GRATEFUL YOU CARE SO MUCH.
  • Shain:BECAUSE OTHERWISE IT WOULD BE OFF IN SOME BACK WARD. IT'S NOT LIKE WE COULD ACTUALLY EVER TRY TO LEARN FROM ITS BIZARRE NOISES AND MOVEMENTS AS TO WHAT IT NEEDS.
  • Me:WHO ARE YOU KIDDING; WE ALL KNOW THOSE ARE THE EEBIL AUTIZMS
  • Shain:YOU'RE NOT SHOCKING A PERSON. YOU'RE SHOCKING AN AUTISM.
  • Me:AN AUTIZMS
  • Shain:YOU ARE HELPING TO DEFEAT TEH AUTIZMS.

anonymous said:

Is there anyway you could make/start a list of words that are ableist and possible alternatives to them? I've recently been realizing that I might be using some ableist words and would like to be able to fix that.

I don’t know if I’m capable of doing something like that anytime soon but AutisticHoya has a fantastic list! c: (You have to scroll a bit to see it.)

- Cap

dia Brown @autistichoya
Ableism depends on racism & racism on ableism. Why else the idea that Black is stupid, that escaped slaves were crazy? #DisabilitySolidarity

This is the world that we are fighting for — a world in which all disabled people, regardless of other identities or specific disability, have equal rights, access, and opportunity as non-disabled people. And part of that starts with our history. A people without a history can hardly be said to be recognized as equal. The fact that our history is beginning to be included in mainstream exhibitions and discussions points toward the progress that we’ve made in advancing our goals and drawing attention to our movement beyond our own communities.

I’m new to this. I’m young. And I am proud of my history and heritage.

AutisticHoya's blog is awesome and everyone should check it out.

It gets me *right there* when history, identity, and intersectionality meld into this beautiful and harmonious whole.

You don’t really know what you’re doing to me when you ask me if I’m just very high-functioning. You don’t know what that does to entire communities of Autistics, all of whom suffer from these arbitrary, hurtful labels of low and high functioning, and none of whom they even come close to accurately describing. Because they only describe ideas that don’t exist in reality, that don’t exist outside laboratories without windows or thesis papers without people. They don’t even describe precise or definite ideas. How can you take these words, then, and try to use them to describe real, breathing human beings? It reeks of ableism; it reeks of paternalism; it reeks of laziness and resorting to the language of convenience rather than searching for and using the language that affirms the value in being Autistic, empowers us despite our marginalization, and describes us respectfully and meaningfully.

"Oh, but you’re so high-functioning. You must not really understand those less able than you, those who don’t function at your level. You really shouldn’t try to speak for them."

Ruuh fi siteyn alf dahiya, ya hameer.

You don’t know me. You don’t know the life that I live day in and day out. You see me for a few minutes, maybe a few hours. Maybe a few hours on a regular basis. You know nothing about my life except what I tell you in little increments, heavily edited increments. The things I choose to let you know. The things that aren’t as consequential as the things that actually affect me. You don’t know me, and you can’t call me “high-functioning.”

—  AutisticHoya,  So High-Functioning (sarcasm)
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