This is a FUNNY (not) story. My Mother was doing some banking recently and overheard a Woman talking about an Autism walk coming up. My Mom asked if it was Autism Speaks and the woman didn’t know. Apparently it WAS autism speaks.
I took it upon myself to contact some notable sponsors who are ALL listed on their website.
This is the message I sent:
Hello Autism Speaks Canada Donor,
My name is Margaux Wosk and I am an outspoken advocate for Autistic individuals like myself. I wanted to take the time to tell you a little bit about the negative impact you are having on our community.
Autism Speaks is highly disliked and rather frowned upon by the #actuallyautistic community. We use the hashtag #boycottautismspeaks.
Autism Speaks wants to find a cure for us, they believe we should cease to exist and with their genetic testing and “research” –well, it’s all in the hopes that we should vanish off the planet. Eugenics, plain as day.
Only a very small fraction of the funds they raise goes to help autistic individuals, i believe 5 percent. The majority of it goes to research. We do not need a cure, we do not need awareness. We need acceptance and inclusion. Those are the most important things for us. Clearly, I would know since I believe individuals like us deserve respect.
We do not want a cure; we do not support ABA.
If you’re interested in better places to donate your funds, please consider the autistic self advocacy network or even our local Autistic Meetup Group. They are always in need of help.
To learn more about me, please check out http://www.navigatingjourney.com
I was recently featured in Black Press Medias’ online and press publications in regards to my art and advocacy and I spoke out against autism speaks. https://www.langleytimes.com/community/cloverdale-artist-finds-activism-for-autism-through-painting/
I would hope you would take this chance to respond to me and reconsider your support and financial contributions to autism speaks in the future.
Here’s a response I received from the top donor, who works for the Royal Bank of Canada:
I do not know how you got my email but please do not email me.
Hm, I wonder how I did that.
Invalidated by a neurotypical person, silenced and falsely accused of spreading misinformation… This is terrible and these are the people that are raising money for us to fail to exist. I’m not surprised by the fact I was just spoken down to and told to not email this person. Awful.
Silenced again, this time by a local childcare provider:
Silenced ONCE AGAIN by a donor:
if they don’t want their names public then maybe they should consider that their names are publicly posted on the autism speaks website?
OUR VOICES SHOULD MATTER.
Please signal boost this if you can.
Autism Speaks is focused on “autism research and awareness.”
We need acceptance, not awareness.
As a parent of a 30 year old daughter on the Autistic spectrum, I have had a long arduous journey finding out why my daughter was not able to be integrated into society as a norm.
I searched every place available to me, so I could give her a LABEL. Her story is fraught with dead ends. Finally at 29 my daughter was diagnosed as an individual on the Autistic spectrum. To wipe these individuals from our society is to commit a terrible wrong to these bright, colourful people who add to the richness of our lives. Be patient, the reward is well worth the time you invest.
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At this point, I find it very hard to bother with even trying to reason with people and corporations. Very hard to stop people who continue to believe they’re doing a good thing and I would consider it a combination of that and the usual “autistics don’t know better” attitude that results in this response. The only thing I would have done differently, is I would have backed up my statement a little better.
I already don’t deal with/give money to A$’ sponsors (SCENE = I don’t give Cineplex a dime to go see a movie) but what REALLY concerns me is to see more reputable (?) autism organizations like CAN and Autism BC (and I guess by proxy Autism Canada?) participating in something like this. I hope, hope, hope that they have a real good reason for it.
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I wish I would have written a better e-mail but I think the response still would have been to silence me and tell me not to write back ever again. All the names of the donors are on the Autism Speaks Canada website, very easy to find. The top donor was the RBC response.
It just means that, as a community, we need to build a case. Gather facts and data, (there’s bound to be lots out there) put those findings together and go public with it. Even possibly use other anti-A$ articles as a means to show the overall displeasure.
Going after the big sponsors is not going to do much; If they think they’re giving to a good cause then there’s not much to be done. I thought about firing off a detailed email to Toys R Us but ended up not doing it because I knew I’d be wasting my time. Best I can do is choose to not do business with them. (Or severely restrict how much business I do if I don’t have a choice)
That being said, most people who seem to understand the nuerodivergent movement also get that A$ = bad, but it’ll be an uphill battle against them. (And by that I mean scaling a cliff)
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