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Congressional hearing to include Autistic witnesses

Posted Nov 27 2012 1:00am

This Thursday, Nov. 29, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing “ 1 in 88 Children: A Look Into the Federal Response to Rising Rates of Autism “. The original witness list (at least as far as I have heard, it is not on the Committee’s website) did not include autistic witnesses. It appears that has changed. Here is an announcement from the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN):

On November 29th, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will be holding a hearing on autism. Invited witnesses include people from government agencies, parent autism advocacy organizations, AND Autistic self-advocacy organizations. We are pleased to report that the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform staff have just reached out to us to invite Autistic representation to this Thursday’s hearing.

Thanks to all of you for making your voices heard and to the House Committee for hearing the message Nothing About Us, Without Us! Whether you faxed letters of support for Autistic representation at the upcoming hearing or signed our petition, your voice has been heard. Now Autistic voices will be heard as well. ASAN President Ari Ne’eman has been invited as one of not one but TWO Autistic witnesses scheduled to testify at the hearing.

The journey doesn’t end there. Come join us in showing support to Autistic people speaking! We’ll be gathering together at the Rayburn House Office, Room 2154 on the day of the hearing. The hearing itself will begin at 2 PM, but as we anticipate a packed room ASAN will begin gathering besides the door to the hearing at 11 AM. RSVP via our Facebook event page.

You made this happen!


The Autistic Self Advocacy Network

It will be an uphill battle to get anything accomplished at this hearing, in my opinion. It’s a lame duck congress and a relatively short hearing. But the precedent has been set that autistics will be present. The precedent was set years ago that parents will be present.

By Matt Carey

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