Determining a Good Autism Organization

Five upraised fists below the words “Fund for Community Reparations For Autistic People of Color's Interdependence, Survival, & Empowerment”
Five upraised fists below the words “Fund for Community Reparations For Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, & Empowerment”

There’s an autism community (warrior parents, behaviorists, most autism charities) and an autistic community (us, actually autistic people). They are very different and often at odds. How can you tell if an autism organization is by and for autistic people and autistic community?

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Signs of a Bad Autism Organization

  • They use cure and tragedy language.
  • They use pathology paradigm language.
  • They use person first language instead of identity first language.
  • They endorse ABA, PBS/PBIS, and behaviorism.
  • They court and amplify Autism Warrior Parents.
  • They don’t have autistic people in leadership roles.
  • They use puzzle piece and “light it up blue” imagery.
  • They use inspiration exploitation / inspiration porn tropes.
  • They center the perspective of parents instead of autistic people.
  • Two main telltales: They try to cure us (eugenics) and impose non-autistic-oriented goals on us (behaviorism).

Signs of a Good Autism Organization

  • They use identity first language.
  • They use neurodiverty paradigm and social model language.
  • They reject ABA, PBS/PBIS, and behaviorism.
  • They reject cure language and eugenics.
  • They have autistic people in leadership roles.
  • They use rainbow infinity imagery.
  • They center autistic people ourselves and speak in the first person.
  • They endorse a biopsychosocial model.

Nothing About Us Without Us

A motto of the self-advocacy movement is “Nothing About Us, Without Us!”. Lots of people talk about us without letting us talk. We should always be part of the conversation, and be in charge of our lives.

WELCOME TO THE AUTISTIC COMMUNITY

The autism community speaks over us in the autistic community and sucks up all the funding. Organizations that are not autistic and disabled led violate a core tenet:

Nothing about us with us.

I first heard the expression “Nothing About Us Without Us” in South Africa in 1993. Michael Masutha and William Rowland, two leaders ofDisabled People South Africa, separately invoked the slo- gan, which they had heard used by someone from Eastern Europe at an international disability rights conference. The slogan’s power derives from its location of the source of many types of (disability) oppression and its simultaneous opposition to such oppression in the context of control and voice.

“Nothing About Us Without Us” resonates with the philosophy and history of the disability rights movement (DRM), a movement that has embarked on a belated mission parallel to other liberation movements. As Ed Roberts, one of the leading figures of the international DRM, has said, “If we have learned one thing from the civil rights movement in the U.S., it’s that when others speak for you, you lose” (Driedger 1989:28). In this sense, “Our Bodies, Ourselves” and “Power to the People” can be recognized as precedents for “Nothing About Us With- out Us.” The DRM’s demand for control is the essential theme that runs through all its work, regardless of political-economic or cultural differences. Control has universal appeal for DRM activists because the needs of people with disabilities and the potential for meeting these needs are everywhere conditioned by a dependency born of powerless- ness, poverty, degradation, and institutionalization. This dependency, saturated with paternalism, begins with the onset of disability and con- tinues until death. The condition of dependency is presently typical for hundreds of millions of people throughout the world.

NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT US: Disability Oppression and Empowerment

“If we have learned one thing from the civil rights movement in the U.S., it’s that when others speak for you, you lose”

Ed Roberts

Good Autism Organizations

ASAN

Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)

AWN

Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network (AWN).

Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color

Five upraised fists below the words “Fund for Community Reparations For Autistic People of Color's Interdependence, Survival, & Empowerment”

The Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence

The Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, and Empowerment exists to provide direct support, mutual aid, and reparations by and for autistic people of color.

Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, and Empowerment

Join Stimpunks Foundation in donating to the Autistic People of Color Fund. They are a legitimate autism charity run by and for autistic people. Your money will help instead of harm when sent to Lydia.

Give to the Fund

The Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, and Empowerment practices redistributive justice and mutual aid by returning and sharing money directly to and with autistic people of color. We provide microgrants to Black, Brown, Native, Asian, and mixed-race people in the autistic community for survival, organizing, leisure, and pleasure.

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