Today, ADAPT protested at major nonprofits in Washington DC, to demand support for the Disability Integration Act. By the end of the day, both the Heritage Foundation and Center for American Progress expressed their support for the bill. AARP, however, decided to call the police to disperse disabled protesters. AARP represents the interests of older Americans and reports a membership of over 38 million Americans.
The Disability Integration Act
prevents state and local officials and insurance companies from denying community-based long term services and supports to disabled people. First introduced by Senator Charles Schumer, the bill has bipartisan support, as well as support from such prominent non-governmental organizations as the ACLU, Move On, The Arc, and Human Rights Campaign.
ADAPT members used their bodies and wheelchairs to block AARP employees from entering and exiting the building. “Many American’s spend decades in their homes; they build lives there and raise their families. Their … Continue Reading ››
The image of Charles Kinsey lying on the street, arms raised
as he tried to calm his client, Arnaldo Rios, before police shot Kinsey in is a nightmare scenario for many autistic people and our families. After the shooting, the local police union for North Miami tried to excuse Kinsey’s shooting
by saying that they were aiming at Rios when Kinsey was shot. Rios had been playing with a toy truck, which the police believed to be a gun.
After the shooting, Rios was interrogated by Officer Angel Requeljado
, according to a lawsuit filed against the city of North Miami by Matthew Dietz, litigation director of the Disability Independence Group and Rios’ lawyer. Dietz says Rios has echolalia, which leads him to repeat the words of others. A video uploaded by Dietz’s firm shows that Rios frequently repeated words or simply responded by saying “yes” or “yeah.” Dietz … Continue Reading ››
Last week, the quarterly Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee meeting took place. IACC is a government advisory panel responsible for setting federal research priorities
. A thread running throughout the six hour meeting was representation and diversity, or lack thereof, both in autism community leadership positions and within IACC itself. In many ways, the sessions were a string of events demonstrating not only the need for more autistic representation, but the need for racial diversity. There are currently only two autistic members of IACC. A third autistic member, Amy Goodman, stepped down in 2017. Similarly, IACC's membership is almost entirely white.
Dr. Marcella Ronyak, IACC member and Deputy Director of the Division of Behavioral Health for the Indian Health Service
, gave the first presentation of the day. She began by asking how many people in the room had a good understanding of what Indian Health Services is and what it is that they … Continue Reading ››
In 2016, the Ford Foundation made a commitment to social justice
. Unfortunately, their early efforts were plagued
when it came todisability community issues. In 2017, the Ford Foundation made a commitment to centering disability rights
. The result of this new effort is still in its early phases, but the work they have done on disability so far has been nothing short of extraordinary, and there is even more to come.
Speaking with NOS Magazine, Noorain Khan of the Ford Foundation was candid about the process of growing much-needed knowledge on disability. "2017 was us diving in, meeting with activists, self-advocates, folks in government, nonprofits, and other funders... [We] met with any disability organization that requested a meeting. This shaped [our] knowledge and the knowledge of the Ford Foundation itself."
"[The Ford Foundation] knew that we couldn’t do this by ourselves." They hired disabled consultants and brought disability … Continue Reading ››
Last week, Autism Speaks released their new “Strategic Plan for Science 2018-2020.”
The new strategic plan follows a wording change to their mission statement and a 2017 stakeholder survey. The survey was primarily about Autism Speaks’ research funding. The kinds of research they fund impacts autistic people, since according to an IACC document,
they are the third largest funder of autism research.
According to many experts, it doesn’t appear that Autism Speaks significantly changed their strategic science planning. The survey results
, published in October 2017, have some important highlights. One question asked about research areas to avoid; of the responses, “most indicated opposition to research aimed at curing or preventing autism.” A specific response included “Researching a cure or genetic markers of autism. Preventing or curing autism is a form of eugenics, which is an abhorrent idea.” A further trend of the survey included: “Opposition to cure/prevention/ABA; more … Continue Reading ››