Interview With First Autistic Presidential Appointee

Here’s a very informative interview with Ari Ne’eman, an autistic 22 year old who was recently appointed by President Obama to the National Council on Disability.

Some salient points:

Autism Speaks raises lots of money through their walks for a cure, but only four cents on every dollar goes to services for autistic individuals and families. That’s surprising and concerning, given the kinds of challenges that people are facing in today’s fiscal climate with state budget cuts leading to the gutting of services. Instead, the money goes to advance Autism Speaks’ research and advertising agendas. …

If we put one-tenth of the money currently spent on looking for causes and cures into developing technologies that enable autistic people with speech challenges to communicate more easily — so-called augmentative and alternative communication [AAC] — we’d have a vast improvement in the quality of life for autistic people and their family members.



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