Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)

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Who We Are & What We Do

(PDF version)

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization run by and for autistic people. ASAN was created to serve as a national grassroots disability rights organization for the autistic community, advocating for systems change and ensuring that the voices of autistic people are heard in policy debates and the halls of power. Our staff work to advance civil rights, support self-advocacy in all its forms, and improve public perceptions of autism. ASAN’s members and supporters include autistic adults and youth, cross-disability advocates, and non-autistic family members, professionals, educators, and friends.

Public Policy Advocacy

We fight to ensure that the autistic community is represented whenever autism is discussed by policymakers. We work in coalition with other disability rights groups to affect policies in both the executive and legislative branches of the federal government, as well as numerous state governments and agencies. Our policy center produces reports on issues of public policy, as well as systems change toolkits for advocates. To ensure that all autistic people can participate in advocacy on issues that impact our lives, ASAN is pioneering the publication of cognitively-accessible Easy Read toolkits and fact sheets on important policy topics.

Some of our current policy priorities include:

  • Defending access to health care and social services
  • Promoting alternatives to guardianship, such as supported decision-making
  • Ending subminimum wages for people with disabilitie
  • Fighting for communication access

Nothing About Us Without Us!

Community Engagement

ASAN’s Community Engagement projects are how we build and mobilize our community power. We host a number of events aimed at bringing our community together to foster a shared autistic cultural identity. We also organize and support grassroots-level advocacy efforts to empower our community members to understand and shape the policies that affect us. Our current Community Engagement efforts include: f Targeted advocacy campaigns f Autism Acceptance Month f Annual Disability Community Day of Mourning f Coalition building with other civil rights organizations f An online Resource Library of books, policy reports, toolkits, and more that we’ve developed to address the needs of our community

Fostering Leadership

ASAN is committed to supporting and guiding the next generation of self-advocate leaders. Our annual Autism Campus Inclusion leadership training brings autistic college students to Washington, D.C. to hone their advocacy skillsets. The weeklong program culminates in participants putting their new skills into action on Capitol Hill. ASAN also awards thousands of dollars in tuition scholarships to autistic college students showing a strong commitment to disability rights advocacy and strengthening autistic culture and community through our Autistic Scholars Fellowship.


General inquiries:

Donation inquiries:

Media inquiries:

Membership inquiries:

Website feedback or bug reports:

Research inquiries: Before writing to with a request that ASAN post a survey link or otherwise assist with a research study, please read our Operational Policy on Research Inquiries, which describes our standards for evaluating such requests.

Mailing address:

Autistic Self Advocacy Network
PO Box 66122
Washington, DC 20035

By Eve Reiland

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