Autism Advocacy Network

Changing Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is an advocacy group that tries to help people with autism, but its methods have been criticized. Some people say that the group is not inclusive enough of people with autism, and that it does not do enough to support autistic people and their families.

How can Autism Speaks be more inclusive?

Autism Speaks could include more people with autism by, for example, featuring them prominently on their website, having them speak at events, and making sure that their staff and board of directors includes people with autism.

How can Autism Speaks be more positive?

Some suggestions for Autism Speaks to be more positive include:

  1. Increase their focus on celebrating the strengths and accomplishments of people with autism.
  2. Shift their messaging to be more inclusive and celebratory of Neurodiversity.
  3. Make their website and materials more accessible and user-friendly for people with autism and their families.
  4. Increase collaboration with and input from the autism community in all aspects of their work.

How can Autism Speaks support autistic people?

Autism Speaks can support autistic people by providing resources, advocating for policies that support autistic people, and working to increase understanding and acceptance of autism. Autism Speaks can also provide support by including autistic people in all levels of their organization, from providing support to fellow autistics and family, to their board of directors which gets to decide policy.

Autism Speaks could benefit from incorporating and prioritizing the ideas of human dignity into their daily practices.

Human dignity is the sense of self-worth and self-respect that every person feels. It is the recognition that each of us has inherent value, worthy of respect and deserving of basic human rights.

Inclusion is the act of including someone who has been excluded. It is the practice of making people feel welcome, respected and valued.

The two concepts are related because human dignity is essential for inclusion. When we feel dignified, we are more likely to feel included. When we feel included, our dignity is affirmed.

Human dignity is a fundamental human right. It is the foundation of our sense of self-worth and self-respect. Dignity is something that we all deserve, simply because we are human.

Sadly, not everyone experiences dignity and inclusion in their lives. Some people are excluded because of their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. Others are marginalized because of their economic status or social standing.

When we don’t feel included, we can feel invisible, unworthy, and unimportant. We can feel like we don’t matter.

Inclusion is an important way to combat exclusion and marginalization. When we include others, we recognize their value and worth. We send the message that they are important to us and that they belong.

Inclusion helps us to create a world where everyone feels respected and valued. It is a way of affirming the dignity of every person.


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