DAA News Network

USA: Leader of Autism Network International tells it like it is

Posted 11/10-10 at 17.53

Ari Ne'eman is the first person recognised with autism to be appointed to a Presidential advisory body, in this case the National Council on Disability. As we have reported previously, his appointment was initially blocked in the Senate. The suspicion is that this was instigated by some parents of autistic children and/or parent-controlled organisations. The latter are focused primarily on finding the causes of and a cure for autuism, not on the quality of life and human rights issues that Ne'eman and his colleagues champion.

Photo if Ari Ne'eman

Ari Ne'eman

As one can see from first interview since his appointment, Ari is a powerful and outspoken advocate for the human rights of people in the emerging neurodiversity movement. Below we give a few selected quotations and strongly recommend reading the full interview and/or listening to him on YouTube. Both are passionate, informed and extremely impressive. Some of the posted comments on what he has to say are also of interest in showing the entrenched resistance the movement is facing.

Ari Ne'eman speaking to Wired.com "We need to stop making autism advocacy about trying to create a world where there aren't any autistic people, and start building one in which autistic people have the rights and support they deserve."

"Groups like Autism Speaks (run primarily by parents of people with autism) have taken tremendous amounts of money out of local communities, but haven't included the people they claim to be serving in their decision-making structure. Promoting fear of autism and pity for autistic people may be good for their bottom line, but it actually hurts us in our efforts to have the kind of lives we deserve to have."

"Many of the bad things that autistic people struggle with are things that happen to us, rather than things that are bad about being autistic."

"The goals of the neurodiversity movement coincide with the goals of the broader disability and civil rights movements. We have a lot of solidarity between us. When a hold was put on my nomination last spring, I was grateful to have the support of groups like the American Association of People with Disabilities and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights."

"Instead of trying to make autistic people normal, society should be asking us what we need to be happy."

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/10/exclusive-ari-neeman-qa/all/1

Also hear Ari's November 2009 interview on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwp2lL7rFrM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bel5CzD0uIQ&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPIZoWQCRJ4&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwMYsbaH8HQ&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTyzZB0ojg4&feature=related

 

Comments:

Comment added 26/10-10 at 08.03 by: author (gaolion@gmail.com)

ent coincide with the goals of the broader disability and civil rights movements. We have a lot of solidarity between us. When a hold was put on my nomination last spring, I was grateful to have the support of groups lik

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