A History of Autistic Self-Advocacy to Now
- Context: Domination of Parent-Based Advocacy and its roots
- Roughly when did the self-advocacy movement begin after years of being dominated by parent-based advocacy?
- What struggles did they face?
- What struggles do we still face?
- When did the movement, along with the neurodiversity movement, “come of age?”
- How has it evolved into its modern form?
- The Modern Platforms
Reasons for selecting topic
I am an Autistic self-advocate and activist. I believe in promoting the acceptance of disability, abstaining from the attempted normalization “treatments” forced upon many of us, including us on decisions that involve us (and not just as token representation), presuming competence of disabled people, and supporting fellow disabled people.
Why it should matter to everyone
My sources will include
- Books written by early researchers of autism, such as Bruno Bettelheim (to provide context for the birth of the parent-based advocacy movement).
- Loud Hands: Autistic People, Speaking edited by Julia Bascom: a recent anthology published in 2012 by Autistic people on their experiences, advocacy work, the discrimination against Autistic and other disabled people, and our history.
- Posts written by parent-based advocates and the website “charity” Autism Speaks who tend to oppose the idea of Autistic self-autonomy and try to force their children into normalization.
- Web archives from prominent first self-advocates such as Jim Sinclair (author of "Don't Mourn for Us" and "Why I do not like person-first language," and founder of Autism Network International) and Mel Baggs, especially in the 1990s
- Current posts from Autistic self-advocates around the web, including myself
- The Autistic Self Advocacy Network's webpage and their updates (ASAN is a self-advocacy based nonprofit based out of Washington, D.C., run by Autistics for Autistics)
- Notes I took during my Autism Campus Inclusion program in
Washington D.C., sponsored by ASAN, which took fifteen Autistic
college students to D.C. with various speakers and sessions to learn
about history, advocacy, and action, including people such as the
Executive Director for The National Council on Disability.