Vivian Ly and others in the autistic community don’t need a national autism charity to speak for them. They already have voices and deserve to be listened to.
Those were among the messages Ly and other members of Autistics United had for those who came out for an annual walk hosted in Richmond on Sunday by Autism Speaks Canada, a non-profit that Ly’s group says does not represent their interests.
Scores of families attended the walk to help fundraise for the national organization, which provides resources, programming and services for autistic people and their families, and that supports autism research. The walk raised nearly $50,000, and over the years the organization has raised about $10 million for research and $5 million for family services, according to its website.
But during the walk, members of Autistics United stood on the sidelines, holding signs that read “Acceptance, not cure,” “Disability rights are human rights,” and “Autistics are speaking. Listen.” They handed out pamphlets and shared some of their concerns with some of the people who participated in the walk.
Autism Speaks Canada did not respond to a request for comment Sunday. …
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