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There is a saying in the independent living world, “Nothing About Us Without Us.”

On Wednesday, May 28, 2014, at 2 PM, the House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee will be taking a step to advance H.R. 4631, which would reauthorize the Combating Autism Act. The current version of the bill continues to exclude autistic people from the federal committee that oversees autism research (the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee), continues the use of offensive language and politicizes appointments to the IACC.

Call your Member of Congress today at the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to say that we want real reforms. The operator will be able to use your zip code to connect you with your Representative. Urge them to oppose H.R. 4631 until such time as real reforms are put in place. Here are some talking points you can use:

1) H.R. 4631 continues to use language offensive to Autistic people and our allies. We don’t want to be “combated” – we want to be supported and respected. Despite numerous complaints by the Autistic community, the legislation continues to use disrespectful and offensive language. This has to change.

2) H.R. 4631 adds four congressionally appointed members to the Inter-Agency Autism Coordinating Committee, politicizing the IACC instead of letting it focus on analyzing autism research and policy from an objective perspective.

3) H.R. 4631 fails to require additional self-advocate representation on the IACC. Shouldn’t a government advisory committee about autism require more than one autistic representative on the committee? Tell Congress that they shouldn’t be acting about us, without us.

We want a real focus on research about services and the needs of adults, respectful language, and real representation of autistic people in decisions about where research dollars are needed. Act today by calling your Representative at (202) 224-3121.

ASAN – Autistic Self Advocacy Network

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