Monday, May 2, 2011

Ohio ASAN Activities

This blog is no longer being maintained. For information about ASAN activities in Ohio, please visit the ASAN Central Ohio blog or write to to contact our Chapter & Outreach Coordinator, Elesia Ashkenazy.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

IACC Comments Due

It's time to get your comments in! The public comment period for the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) Strategic Plan for Autism Spectrum Disorder Research closes this Friday, July 30, 2010, as stated in the IACC's reminder notice set forth below. The Autistic Self Advocacy Network encourages public participation in the proceedings of the IACC, which is a Federal advisory committee that coordinates all efforts within the Department of Health and Human Services concerning autism.

From: NIMH IACCPublicInquiries (NIH/NIMH)
Date: Mon, Jul 26, 2010 at 3:20 PM
Subject: The IACC RFI Closes This Week!

Reminder: IACC 2010 RFI to Inform the 2011 Update of the IACC Strategic Plan Closes This Friday, July 30, 2010

The IACC has issued a formal Request for Information (RFI) to solicit public input to inform the 2011 update of the IACC Strategic Plan for Autism Spectrum Disorder Research. During the six-week public comment period (June 18 – July 30, 2010), members of the public are asked to provide input to the committee on what has been learned in the past year about the issues covered in each of the seven chapters of the IACC Strategic Plan, and on what are the remaining gaps in the subject area covered by each chapter. In addition, the committee is seeking input on the introductory chapter and other general comments about the Strategic Plan. Comments collected through this RFI will be posted to the IACC web site after the closing date.

If you would like to respond to the RFI, please go to: Responses will be accepted until this Friday, July 30, 2010.

Friday, April 30, 2010

IACC Appointment

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network applauds HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' appointment of ASAN President Ari Ne'eman to the Inter-Agency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC). The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) is a Federal advisory committee that coordinates all efforts within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) concerning autism. ASAN has given regular public comment at the IACC in the past and looks forward to continuing to be an active part of the IACC process. To learn more about the IACC, go to

A news release has been posted on the Health & Human Services website:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

President Obama Picks Ari Ne'eman for Administration Post

We are pleased to announce that ASAN President Ari Ne'eman has been nominated by President Barack Obama for a position on the National Council on Disability.

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
December 16, 2009

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts, 12/16/09

WASHINGTON – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key administration posts:

•Marie Collins Johns, Deputy Administrator, Small Business Administration
•Gwendolyn E. Boyd, Member, Board of Trustees of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation
•Jonathan M. Young, Chair, National Council on Disability
•Carol Jean Reynolds, Member, National Council on Disability
•Fernando Torres-Gil, Member, National Council on Disability
•Chester Alonzo Finn, Member, National Council on Disability
•Gary Blumenthal, Member, National Council on Disability
•Sara Gelser, Member, National Council on Disability
•Ari Ne'eman, Member, National Council on Disability
•Dongwoo Joseph "Joe" Pak, Member, National Council on Disability

President Obama said, “I am grateful that these fine individuals have chosen to serve in my administration. They will bring a depth of experience and valued perspective to their roles, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”

Bios of the nominees are available through the above link.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Preventing Restraint and Seclusion in Schools

Seeking to protect children from dangerous restraint and seclusion in classrooms, U.S. Reps. George Miller (D-CA), the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), a member of that committee and Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference, are introducing new bipartisan legislation in a press conference to be webcast live from the Education and Labor Committee website at at 11:00 AM EST on Wednesday, December 9, 2009.

A report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office on the inappropriate use of restraint and seclusion in classrooms shows that many students, including a disproportionate number of children with disabilities, have been injured and in some cases killed by these harmful practices. The federal government lacks policies to prevent the misuse of restraint and seclusion in schools, and many states also have failed to ensure adequate regulation and oversight.

ASAN is seeking volunteers to help with our advocacy of legislation to protect students against school abuse. To volunteer, please write to with the subject line "Restraint and seclusion" in your email.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Protest of Autism Speaks Walk at Ohio State University

By Melanie Yergeau, ASAN Ohio State/Central Ohio Chapter Director.

On Sunday, October 11, ASAN-Ohio State/Central Ohio members and other disability rights advocates protested Autism Speaks' Walk for Autism, held on the Ohio State campus. Nineteen individuals protested the organization's harmful advertising, unrepresentative leadership, and eugenic aims. Among the protesters were autistic self-advocates, students, faculty, staff, parents, children, and other community members.

During the first half of the event, protesters faced incoming car traffic and displayed posters with slogans such as "Nothing about us without us" and "Autism Speaks does not speak for me." Some drivers slowed their cars and honked in anger, while others rolled down their windows and shouted profanities. Several parents stopped by on foot and asked about the protest, and these individuals were polite, seemed willing to listen, and took flyers with them.

The second half of the protest commenced with the actual one-mile walk, and ASAN protesters greeted walkers with chants of nothing about us without us, Autism Speaks needs to listen, and we're people, not puzzles. Protesters also waved signs and distributed flyers that highlighted why Autism Speaks does not speak for autistic individuals. While chanting nothing about us without us at the walk's start, one walk team began shouting O-H-I-O in order to drown out the protest. A couple mothers told the protesters to "get a life." Many individuals, however, were intrigued by the protest and asked for details. Several indicated surprise at the breakdown of Autism Speaks' funding (with only 4% going to services) and lack of autistic representation in the organization, while others insisted that Autism Speaks needs to speak for autistic individuals.

ASAN protesters were constrained to one side of the street, and many of the walkers deliberately avoided walking near the protest line. Several campus police officers stopped by the protest site to request information as well as confirm that ASAN's first amendment rights were not being violated.

ASAN-OSU/Central Ohio thanks those involved in the protest, from planning to attendance. Several graduate students affiliated with the Nisonger Center lent their time, advice, and expertise, and aided with advertising and information-gathering. Additionally, many students and faculty from the English Department and Disability Studies program were in attendance at the protest, and many more helped to make the event a success.

YouTube footage of the event (captions coming soon):

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Protest at Autism Speaks Walk in Columbus

ASAN Central Ohio/Ohio State University will be protesting an Autism Speaks walk on Sunday. This information was crossposted from the ASAN Central Ohio blog.

Please join us as we protest the Autism Speaks walk for autism this Sunday, October 11 from 8:00am to 12:00pm. We'll be meeting at the corner of Fred Taylor Drive and Borror Drive, right by the 4-H Center, and this is where we'll carry out our protest. We are actively looking for volunteers and fellow protesters. Our protest has been sparked by, among other things, Autism Speaks' recent PSA, titled "I Am Autism," which presents autistic individuals as kidnap victims, burdens, and inhuman. In the video, autism is presented as a soul-stealing entity that ruins marriages, causes bankruptcy, triggers embarrassment, and erodes morality. Please join us (even if only for a short while) as we speak back to Autism Speaks and the discrimination that such a campaign perpetuates.

Campus map & driving directions:

Note on parking: The OSU Event Parking Coordinator is advising ASAN to park behind the 4H Center building in their parking lot. There are about 55-60 spaces available. Fred Taylor Drive (the road in front of the parking lot) will be blocked off at 10 a.m. to prepare for the walk, so everyone will need to be there before that time if they choose to park there. Getting dropped off near by or walking from main campus are the other options for coming later than 10am. Thanks!

Please contact us at with questions.