Saturday, October 15, 2011

Recap: Protest Against Autism Speaks

On Sunday, October 9, ASAN-Central Ohio protested Autism Speaks' Walk Now for Autism on the Ohio State campus. Approximately 15 Autistic individuals and cross-disability allies protested Autism Speaks' lack of family and community support, its high executive pay, its lack of Autistic representation, and its eugenic aims.

Several protesters hold signs at a street corner. Signs variously read SUPPORT LOCAL FAMILIES, SUPPORT NEUROLOGICAL DIVERSITY, and DISABILITY RIGHTS.

Protesters heavily emphasized that Autism Speaks only gives 2% of money raised to families and local communities. Several walkers interacted with the group, some kind and supportive, others not. One such negative encounter involved a walker who screamed at her young daughter, "Don't you dare go near those people!" At other points, walkers cursed, waved the middle finger, and told protesters they should feel ashamed of themselves.

Josh, Corbin, Tiffany and children, Justin, and Jessie hold signs and flyers. Signs variously read DISABILITY RIGHTS = HUMAN RIGHTS, SUPPORT AUTISM ORGS THAT SUPPORT AUTISTIC PEOPLE, and AUTISTIC? TALK 2 US.

Despite the hostility, protesters were able to have productive conversations with walkers. Rep. Ted Celeste stopped by and expressed his appreciation. Additionally, several individuals and families took ASAN flyers and engaged in conversations about why Autism Speaks does not speak for autistic people.

For additional photos, please visit our Flickr page.

Video of the protest (captioned):

1 comment:

Kaiden said...

Sorry I didn't show up. I have never been part of a protest and didn't really know what to do and was afraid Autism Speaks might attempt to trigger a meltdown.