I have started a BRAND NEW Podcast called “Autistic Speaking”! Please listen here:
And my NEWEST Youtube Series “Margaux Talks Tea”
I would LOVE if you could let me know what you think of these two new ventures!
…then you wouldn’t support Autism Speaks. April is the CRUELEST MONTH. Get prepared to go #RedInstead
I am an Autistic Woman.
I do NOT need to be cured.
I do not need to be eradicated.
I am not a burden.
I am not diseased.
I am not in crisis.
I am not represented by a puzzle piece or the colour blue.
I say NO to Autism Speaks and you should, too.
Want more information? It’s as simple as googling BOYCOTT AUTISM SPEAKS.
I’m almost gritting my teeth as I write this. It’s always experiences that prompt me to go on these informative rants (if you want to call it that) and let it all flow.
I was recently contacted by someone who runs a charity event to benefit a local Autism Centre. She asked me if there was any way I wanted to be involved and immediately I got quite defensive and a bit angry. I should have controlled my emotions a bit better but it was seemingly obvious that she had not viewed any of my content prior to contacting me.
She told me they raised over 200,000 in the past for this centre with their different events. That’s all well and good until you see who one of the main sponsors is for the centre.
AUTISM SPEAKS CANADA.
Anyone who knows me or has viewed my content has probably seen how outspoken I am against them. Just look up “Boycott Autism Speaks” on google and you’ll yield 266,000 results! There are plenty of reasons as to why I will not be involved in ANYTHING that is remotely linked to them. I have values and self-respect.
The conversation went like this:
Do you really want to help the Autistic community? I’m always quite disheartened by the fact that so many of these opportunities are laden with no information OR misinformation. It makes getting the message of advocacy/activism/equality/rights much harder to convey.
If you want to donate funds, here’s some things you can do:
- Contact your local Autistic Meetup group and ask what they need
- Support Autistic individuals by purchasing their art or offerings
- Make a donation to http://autisticadvocacy.org
If you are reading this and you have more ideas of what would be essential to my list, please leave a comment or get in touch.
When I realized that Autism Speaks slogan was “It’s time to listen”, my heart sank.
I honestly felt like I broke in to a thousand little pieces that no one could pick up. It was the feeling of grief. The more I research, the more I realize how much Autistic voices matter.
The CEO of Autism Speaks is someone who has experience managing different health related foundations. Her name is Angela Geiger. As far as I can tell – She is NOT Autistic.
Autism Speaks Canada is headed up by Jill Farber and she has spent 15 years as a private consultant specializing in ABA. She is NOT Autistic.
It’s important for the verbal portion of the Autism community to speak up for not only us but for our nonverbal brothers and sisters. After all, we know best. This is who we are in every aspect of our being.
Wouldn’t it be nice for Autism Meetup groups and self-advocacy networks to have funding and get provided devices and tools to make life easier? Frustratingly enough, most companies need a “front” to do so. By that I mean a “charitable” organization with whom to “partner” with so it looks like they’re doing a DAMN amazing thing to benefit those who need it most. Why can’t they do it without the publicity or without a partnership? Money- simply put! Advertising is key. Looking good to those who are uneducated on the subject increases profit margins and a veil of “doing good”.
Let’s PUT #AutisticVoicesFirst
I want to make it evidently clear that I am all for mental health awareness and supporting related causes. I have always struggled and believe that funding is entirely necessary.
Bell is a Canadian Telecommunications giant. For one day each year, the #BellLetsTalk campaign overtakes social media, with Olympian Clara Hughes as their Spokeswoman.
They make sure you are aware of the campaign through every advertising platform imaginable. I can’t imagine the money they put in to advertising alone.
They utilize the hashtag to get their customers and even non-customers talking about it to which they make a donation to their own fund.
I just don’t think this is the right way to do it. I have most definitely had real-life disagreements on this subject as well.
Here’s why I don’t think it’s okay:
- According to Forbes, Bell Canada (BCE) has a market cap of 40.5 Billion Dollars.
- Bell’s employees do not get equal or fair treatment in regards to their own mental health. CBC has written about this and there are various other articles online too.
- They have various ways you can get involved and they donate 5 cents to different initiatives. As far as I am concerned, they can make a sizeable donation without using the hashtag to, essentially, get very cheap marketing for their brand.
- The Bell Community Fund has a financial cap of $25,000 and has all kinds of exclusions including: Anti-stigma projects and event sponsorships etc.
I believe we should get to the point where talking about our mental health is a regular thing we can participate in and completely free of judgment. I don’t believe it is right to capitalize on mental health/wellness/illness for financial gain. I also don’t think it should be segregated to one day of the year that is decided on by a multi-billion dollar telecommunications giant.
Let’s talk about it, I think we need a new hashtag.
Disclaimer: This is my own opinion and should not reflect the brands or companies I have graciously partnered with.
I’m not really here to knock the amazing work different foundations do (not all of them).
I just find it quite curious how voices continue to be silenced. I feel like there’s so many Autistic advocates who would be very interested in the opportunity to be heard by a room full of people who can make a change by donating funds.
I am aware that companies do this because, for the most part, it makes THEM look good.
Recently, a local Autism Centre had a lavish winter fundraiser with plenty of large companies and corporations who were quite pleased to contribute monitarily.
I was on twitter when my feed was absolutely bombarded with images of the event. My Boyfriend reminded me this was a BUSINESS FUNCTION and of course they are going to exclude Autistic individuals and that it’s more of a PR event.
I have been doing my very best to get the word out because I believe that people who are Autistic can contribute their voice to these kind of issues. When I found out about this event while it was happening I quickly sprang in to action.
Not only did I write each and every company that contributed, but I also wrote the board of directors for the Autism Centre that hosted the event. I did get one response which said I could BUY A TICKET for the event or I could become an “advocate” for this centre by making a $15 donation. Seems kind of backwards.
Please, Include us. Consider us as very knowledgeable advisors. Listen.
Manipulation to get legitimate reviews taken down from Amazon is NOT OKAY!
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Here is my first post on the subject: