Saturday, January 28, 2012

Autism Roundtable: Cross-Disability Solidarity

Note: This is the second part of a feature by Huffington Post's Seth Mnookin that began two days ago on the Public Library of Science. The introduction to both parts is identical.

I asked some of the people who've influenced my thinking about all of these issues to collaborate on a virtual roundtable. 


Ari Ne'eman, autism rights advocate and the co-founder of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN). In 2009, President Obama appointed him to the National Council on Disability: Please do excuse my delay, Seth - I've just finished attending the National Disability Leadership Alliance's Annual Planning Retreat. NDLA is a very unique version of something that is very common in Washington, DC,  it is an advocacy coalition of national organizations which lobby to influence public policy, with a twist: it is controlled by a Steering Committee limited to national groups run by and for people with disabilities. ASAN serves alongside groups like the National Federation of the Blind, Little People of America, the National Association of the Deaf, the American Association of People with Disabilities and many others. Participating in NDLA is frequently a great opportunity to learn something new from those with backgrounds different from oneself - but more often than not, it gives one a chance to learn about how similar the experiences of people with different disabilities are.

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