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Monday, April 1, 2013

Autism Acceptance Month

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is spearheading efforts to rebrand April — known for decades as “Autism Awareness Month” — as “Autism Acceptance Month.” The group has launched awebsite and is publicizing events in cities across the country that are geared toward inclusion, understanding and supporting those with autism.
“I don’t think there are many people who don’t know that autism exists. We think it’s time to move on to more constructive goals,” said Ari Ne’eman, president of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, of the effort which is also being supported by TASH, the National Council on Independent Living and other groups.
The initiative is an extension of a grassroots movement that emerged two years ago when Paula Durbin-Westby, who has autism, established a Facebook event titled “Autism Acceptance Day.” At the time, Durbin-Westby said she was inspired after hearing from other self-advocates who were frustrated like she was that the traditional awareness month often meant pleas for donations and negative portrayals of life with autism.