🎃 ASAN October Update 🎃

autumn leaves

ASAN October Newsletter


Dear friends,

What’s scarier than ghosts and ghouls? Discriminatory health care policies! This October, we’ve been hard at work fighting for everyone to safely access health care without fear of discrimination, harassment, or persecution – plus preparing a grassroots push to #StopTheShock, getting ready to host our annual gala, and more. Here’s what we’ve been up to.

Our policy team has been hard at work providing feedback on the proposed 1557 rule. This rule will be crucial to codify antidiscrimination protections and ensure that our community has accessible, equitable health care. In addition to submitting our own comments, we signed on to letters from the Disability and Aging Collective, the Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities, the Partnership to Improve Patient Care, the HIV + Hepatitis Policy Institute, and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. We also met with DC-based LGBTQ+ healthcare clinic Whitman Walker to ensure our response centers the most marginalized in our community.

We have also been organizing opposition to EAGLES, a “threat assessment” bill that some people on the Hill are trying to pass at the last second. Threat assessment is where a team of a police officer and a few teachers decide whether a student is a threat to the school based on often-anecdotal evidence. It has been used to remove kids from the classroom without regard to their rights, and it discriminates against students of color and students with disabilities. We drafted a letter to be sent by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Education Task Force, and will be meeting with Congressional offices in partnership with the Task Force and other allies in order to discuss our concerns about this bill.

October marks a month when the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) meets, so we released our new toolkit on how you can make your voice heard. The deadline for submitting comments for this meeting has passed, but you can learn how to submit comments in the future, and learn more about IACC, here!

Election day is coming up soon! Learn how to vote by mail with our resource “How to Vote by Mail!,” which gives an overview of how voting by mail works and answers lots of the questions you might have about voting by mail. This guide applies broadly to every state, no matter where you live! Plus, the 50 state guide will give you everything you need to know about your state’s requirements and deadlines for mail-in voting. We also hosted two webinars on preparing to vote. If you missed them, you can learn how to combat barriers to voting for you and your community and why voting matters! Check out all our voting resources here, make a plan to vote, and make your voice heard in the midterm elections November 8th.

We passed a very special membership milestone this month: we now have 1,000 recurring donors in our membership program! When we launched our revamped membership program in July of 2020, we had no idea what the future looked like or how many of you would support us along the way with your membership dues. Our membership rewards are a way for us to let you know how much your support means to us. By supporting ASAN, you make our work possible — and together, we can keep making change for years to come!

Join us for a special virtual edition of our annual celebration and fundraising event every Tuesday in November! Gala tickets are on a sliding scale this year, so you can pay whatever you are comfortable with. Register now to reserve your spot, and let everyone know you’ll be coming by RSVPing on Facebook! We kick off tomorrow at 7pm Eastern Time with a #StopTheShock night of action. 

This is no trick — advocating with you is a treat! Wishing you the best in this spooky season,
The Team at ASAN

Disability rights and justice are intersectional, and our work should be too. Here are some smaller, but no less important, things the policy team did behind-the-scenes this month, laying the groundwork for further advocacy:

  • We joined a coalition letter demanding Customs and Border Patrol to limit the amount of time pregnant/postpartum/nursing people spend in custody to the absolute minimum. If this were to happen, we could then continue to fight towards limiting the harm that comes from Customs and Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement interacting with immigrants with disabilities.
  • We signed onto a Collaboration to Promote Self-Determination letter asking the Department of Justice to reinstate their Olmstead guidance on employment and the integration mandate.
  • We urged the implementation of certain provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), especially a ban on quality-adjusted life years or QALYs, a discriminatory tool that tries to quantify disabled quality of life that can unfairly target people on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.

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Autistic Self Advocacy Network Comments on Section 1557

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Autism Research and the IACC: Your voice matters!

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Join us for our Virtual Gala!

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Don’t forget to vote!