Eight ASAN members, led by ASAN Central Ohio Chapter Director Melanie Yergeau, celebrated Autistic Pride Day 2009 by visiting the Ohio statehouse on June 17, 2009 and meeting with two state representatives, Rep. Kevin Bacon and Rep. Ted Celeste. The group handed out flyers and briefly explained the goals and work of ASAN.
Several people shared stories about employment, education, and community living supports during the meeting with Rep. Bacon. Melanie Yergeau explained to him that ASAN is very ideologically different from Autism Speaks. Autistic culture also was discussed and compared to other disability communities, such as Deaf culture.
The meeting with Rep. Celeste began with a discussion of the social model of disability and ASAN's participation in cross-disability communities. Rep. Celeste talked about autism insurance and was knowledgeable about ABA and the issue of excluding aversives from coverage. He thanked the group for bringing this issue to his attention. ASAN plans to follow up by sending him relevant literature and studies on aversives.