We are autistic self-advocates, activists, and allies united to stop Autism Speaks and CASDA from dictating autism policy in Canada through their proposed “National Autism Strategy” (NAS) project.
The NAS would earmark hundreds of millions in funds for Autism Speaks and other groups that actively work against autistic people and against disability rights and unity.
Autism Speaks has a long reputation of denying disabled people dignity and promoting eugenics and segregation. On a Government of Canada webpage, Autism Speaks describes itself as “dedicated to funding global research into the prevention…and cure for autism.” In its 100-Day Kit, Autism Speaks advises parents to “mourn” their (very much alive) autistic children. Autism Speaks promotes segregated systems instead of inclusion.
EVERY autistic self-advocacy group across Canada opposes the National Autism Strategy (NAS), for several reasons:
- In CASDA’s “needs” survey (which informed the NAS) only 4% of respondents were autistic; more respondents were Autism Industry reps.
- The Vice Chair of the Executive Board for CASDA is also the President of Autism Speaks Canada.
- The NAS’s proposed “pillars for change” represent industry interests, not the community’s.
- Services for autistic Canadians should be integrated into national disability policy, not silo’d into a separate “autism strategy” that ignores need and divides disabled communities.
The Government of Canada needs to live up to its disability policy promises and start listening to autistic self-advocacy groups. It is time for a real change in how autism policy is done in Canada.
Nothing about us without us!
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