The Influence Network of Autism Speaks is vast and worldwide. Autism Speaks merged with several other autism organizations to become the loudest voice on autism in the world starting back in 2005.
The founders of Autism Speaks leveraged their powerful networks to overshadow and silence Autistics who were advocating to be heard. Autism Speaks has been effective in locking out Autistic people in participating in legislation about us and our healthcare, and created a monopoly on Autism that’s still going strong today.
Below is a big list of organizations, companies, celebrities, projects and more that Autism Speaks has influenced with their voice and work over the years.
This list is in progress. I wanted to share it before it was complete in case it might help other activists with their work. Check back for updates.
Autistic activists and advocates, with our real allies, have been working hard for years to be heard over the roar of non-Autistics using every media and platform imaginable to promote “Autism Awareness” while at the same time they silenced Autistic people.
Imagine, if you haven’t experienced it yet, trying to be an Autistic heard over the power of these collective voices and influencers listed below. Damn near impossible, yes … but this year Autistic people have been heard loudly in regards to the ableist and other serious problems with Sia’s movie, “Music.” Major media publications and news sites have written articles about the situation worldwide. It’s an incredible feat to have such attention on Autistic people, the Autistic community and our fight for civil and human rights.
Unfortunately, Sia is just one in a long, long line of celebrities who have supported autism myths, the tragedy narrative and failed to connect with the actual Autistic community that is comprised of Autistic people and our true allies – and instead supported the propaganda and blue light of Autism Speaks.
It’s my hope that many of these celebrities, organizations and companies aren’t fully vetted on the harms of Autism Speaks and their work and are open to expanding their understanding of Autistic people. I also suspect some celebrities have been persuaded by some industry giants, who are also on the Autism Speaks board, to participate in these campaigns.
Below is a list of celebrities, companies, organizations, media publications and more that have participated or been involved in the Autism Speaks influence network going back to 2005.
Note: This list is still being created and updated. I’m working on updating this list and rerouting the links to the archives on each person collated on the site. It appears many of these stories have been removed from the internet and are now available on wayback machine, or I’ve already got them posted here. Last Updated: March 24, 2022.
Founding Family & Friends | Board Members Via Mergers | Board Members, Advisors & Staff | Celebrity Influencers | Media Influencers
Board Members, Advisors & Staff
LEGISLATION, POLITICIANS, STUDIES, INITIATIVES & MORE (INFLUENCERS & INFLUENCED)
- Congressperson Joe Barton (R-TX)
- Congressperson Mary Bono (R-CA)
- Congressperson Leonard L. Boswell (D-IA-3)
- Congressperson Ken Calvert (R-CA-44)
- Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)
- Senator Robert “Bob” Casey (D-Pa)
- Senator Hilary Clinton (D-N.Y.)
- Senator Norm Coleman (R-Minn.)
- Senator Susan M. Collins (R-Maine)
- Senator Jon Corzine (D-N.J.)
- Congressperson Tom Davis (R-VA-11)
- Senator Mark Dayton (D-Minn)
- Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT)
- Congressperson Mike Doyle (R-PA)
- Congressperson Eliot Engel (D-NY)
- Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
- Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.)
- Congressperson Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL-18)
- Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.)
- Congressperson Stephen F. Lynch (D—MA-9)
- Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
- Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)
- Congressperson Janice D. Schakowsky (D-IL-19)
- Congressperson Adam B. Schiff (D-CA-29)
- Congressperson Christopher Smith (R-NJ)
- Children’s Health Act 2000 (via CAN)
- Congressional Autism Research and Education Caucasus
- Expanding the Promise for Individuals with Autism Act of 2007 (EPIAA)
- HB 1150 – Pennsylvania
- Maryland’s Home and Community-based Services Waiver for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Study of Fluoxetine in Autism (SOFIA)