Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Quick Resolution

photo credit-David Spender
creative commons license

After a letter was sent by ASAN (as well as many of you, I'm sure), the York, PA chapter of ASA sent the following reply, in which they detail how they are going to immediately remove the billboards.

We all make mistakes, and it's often difficult to admit when we've made them. I applaud the York, PA chapter of ASA for its quick and reasonable response. I believe them when they say they meant no harm, and salute them for being open to considering other voices from the "family."


Dear Friends in the Autism Community,

Regretfully it has been brought to the attention of the Autism Society of America – York Chapter – that our recent billboard campaign has caused undesirable confusion within the community. The intention of the billboard campaign was aimed at generating awareness to the general public and was in no way created to cause a malicious stir within the community. As a parent of a severely affected nine year old with Autism I can truly understand your passion regarding advocacy and respect for our children.

We thank you for your thoughts and concerns. I apologize for the misunderstanding and want you to know we will promptly remove the billboard posting.

Respectfully yours,

Amy Wallace

President ASA York


And here is ASAN's announcement regarding this:


Only a few hours after our letter and thanks to the hard work of bloggers like Joe at Club 166, Abfh, Cracked Mirror in Shalott and others who wrote in and called about the billboard campaign, ASA-York has agreed to pull the billboards. This is a sign of the importance of working together as a community to address issues like this. A year and a half ago, it took the combined strength of 21 disability organizations from across the country to have our voices be heard on a billboard campaign not dissimilar to this one. Today, our community's reputation for action and ethics has grown to the point where we can bring about change much more rapidly. This should serve as a reminder of the importance of a strong, united Autistic community with a clear moral vision of a better future for Autistic people. Small victories like this remind us of what we can accomplish by working as one community on issues of every kind and size. Thank you to everyone who took action and in particular to the members of the blogosphere who first rallied the community around this. I encourage people to write to ASA-York's President Amy Wallace at Amy Wallace to express your appreciation for their swift action to remove unethical advertising and to encourage them to work with the Autistic community in the future.

Ari Ne'eman
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network


Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

That is *awesome!!* And I think it speaks of good character to recognize a fault. Thanks to Amy Wallace and thanks to YOU, Joe!


How to raise awareness of difficulties/ help for people on the spectrum to be as functional as possible without causing stigma? I would like to see what the new billboards will look like. :]

I'm really excited, reading this post. You made my morning!

Corrie Howe said...

Thanks, Joe, for taking action. While I understand what was meant by the billboard, I think you modeled a great way to take productive action.

Let's hope that one person at a time takes a stand about improving the lives of our children.