Watch my video:
Before any opportunity is offered to me, I always do my research. I search up the positives and negatives so I can make an informed decision. That seems to be common sense; at least that’s what I thought.
Occasionally, i’ll do a twitter search for “Autism Speaks” to see what kind of propaganda is being perpetuated. I’ll usually see parents, this running app (CharityMiles) that donates to them and merchandise with puzzle pieces for sale.
Yesterday was a bit different. The last big rift between the Autistic community and an outspoken supporter of Autism Speaks would be the whole Niantic deal. The Makers of POKEMON GO decided it would be excellent publicity to partner with the Autism Speaks Run and have their own family fun booth. They were met with outrage and rightfully so. Pokemon Go gave some individuals a reason to get outside and engage. I wasn’t one of those people, but there were other reasons given that made it seem like the Autistic community embraced it–that is, until, they made an incredibly rash decision without any research.
So, back to yesterday, I noticed there was a gamer by the name of Ash or Clash With Ash (CWA) who was incredibly excited to share the news of his ambassadorship with Autism Speaks. His video was complete with puzzle pieces in the background. What a lovely touch.
We, the Actually Autistic community have been on it. We’ve let him know that this isn’t helping us – that it’s actually hurting us. Ash’s followers are commending him and don’t seem to be questioning him. I’m assuming they believed he did his due diligence and researched Autism Speaks before he went full out and posted all his puzzle-piece laden propaganda for them to eat up and praise him for. He’s been incredibly quick to thank his supporters and put us in the backseat. Part of me believes he thought this would be good publicity and paint him as some kind of saint because his late Brother was Autistic. Here’s the initial tweet that started this all.
If you take the time to scroll through his twitter, you’ll see the calm before the storm. I took it upon myself to let his followers know that his actions are the opposite of commendable-by informing them that Autism Speaks is not a good organization. I don’t recall any of them responding to me.
I’m not sure how this benefits him. Perhaps it gives him a greater sense of purpose and believes that because he has a platform and an audience, that he could bring some kind of awareness to a cause he says is so important to him. We don’t need that. We can advocate for ourselves without hiding behind the guise of a hate group. There’s also better organizations to donate money to, like ASAN.
If you wish to add your opinion and let him know that we don’t need him to speak on our behalf, his social media platforms are:
If you want to learn why Autism Speaks is so terrible, here’s a great list: A Roundup of Posts Against Autism Speaks
Niantic, the makers of Pokemon GO have decided that it would be in their best interest to support Autism Speaks in Arizona. They are promoting this on their social media channels and will have a kids zone with various activities at the walk. I have a strong hunch that it is their PR Company, TriplePoint behind the tweets and support.
We are trying to let them know that they are, essentially, ignoring autistic voices–the very same autistic voices that benefit from, you guessed it, POKEMON GO!
They are ignoring us. They refuse and fail to respond to our valid criticism. As a whole, the #actuallyautistic community is outraged with very good reason. The big question looming is “How have they failed to do research?”. They, of all people/companies should know how to use google before they make a failed attempt at educating themselves on causes they choose to support.
If you agree with me and my peers and would like to support us, I would urge you to take some of the following actions:
Please let Niantic know that even though @SARRC_tweet is who they are supporting, it’s still benefitting autism speaks.
Brand New Video!
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.
We need acceptance, not awareness.
…But apparently, they do not listen!
If you haven’t seen this, you should:
This whole thing is laughable at best.
I specifically told her about my disapproval of Autism Speaks and how their aim is to eradicate autistic individuals like myself. I told her how important this detail was in regards to my own journey.
Every so often, I find myself looking up the title of the article to see where it’s been posted.
To my surprise, a disgustingly sick feeling came over me, It has been posted on the Autism Speaks facebook page for all to see.
The VERY article that had this statement in it:
The goal, Wosk explained, is to help people become more educated about autism — that’s why she spends much of her online time being an activist for autistic people and protesting against organizations like Autism Speaks, which Wosk said spend more time looking to eliminate autism rather than support autistic people.
It had been up for 2 hours with over 40 likes and 2 shares.
I don’t think any of those Autism Speaks supporters (or even Autism Speaks themselves) even bothered to read my article, because if they did, they wouldn’t have posted anything with an unfavorable mention.
This begs the even larger question of the importance of autistic opinions. I believe that when it all comes down to it, it’s that money rules and we don’t matter.
This was certainly not my first online encounter with this greedy “charity”. Nope. Autism Speaks Canada actually e-mailed me once trying to tell me all the things they do. TELLING me is important to note because they failed to read or even address anything I had said.
Autism Speaks wants to replace and eliminate us. Our voices are not worthy or important to them.
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!
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.