×
You seem to have had an issue loading this page or you have javascript disabled, which may cause problems while using Change.org. To avoid any further inconvenience, please enable javascript in your browser and refresh this page.
  • Petitioning CBS News
  • Responded

This petition will be delivered to:

CBS News
Fox News
CNN News
A.P News
Congressman Aid #1
Congressman Aid #2
MSNBC News
Heartland Alliance
See response
National Center for Law and Economic Justice
National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)
Public Relations Mirror
Autism Candles
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Office of Inspector General
Department of Justice Civil Rights
News Tips
National Housing Coalition

The Arc
Representative Field Contact
Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro
Nancy Lungren, Assistant Director of Communications
California DDS
Disability Rights Advocates (DRA)
TASH
TASH 2
ngrid Tischer, Director of Development
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
NOD
WID
Think Tank & Social Awareness
Center For Economic & Social Justice
See response
UUA
NPR News
FAIR
ADAPT
Disability Rights California
United States Department of Labor
Office of Disability Employment Policy
Humboldt Housing Authority
Heather A.
ABC News

Autism Dreams: Allow The American Dream

    1. Nathan Young
    2. Petition by

      Nathan Young

      Fortuna, CA

Self-advocate with autism seeks to address United States Senate members concerning hope within federal housing.

Nathan Young, a self-advocate with autism, is determined to live the American Dream by working from home. Local Regional Center programs encouraged him to participate in Self-Determination, a state and federally funded program that encourages people to do what it takes to become self-sufficient. However, Nathan feels that the federal housing program he participates in, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is out of date with modern Self-Determination programs and is unfairly limiting his, and everyone else in his position, potentials to achieve self-sufficiency.

HUD’s policy states that people in Nathan’s position must live in housing with rent falling under a certain amount of money. This seems like a reasonable request, except that the number is not high enough to allow someone who is working from home to expand their workspaces, even into something as simple as a home garage.  For example, Nathan, has spent the last seven years living inside a candle factory because he cannot afford to move his business out of his living space without relying on additional supports from social service agencies. He tried to find living quarters with a garage, but the only place he could find with rent low enough to qualify for the HUD program had a severe rat problem, eventually forcing Nathan to use state resources to help him move.

Not only does the HUD program not offer enough support to allow people with developmental disabilities to work from home, but an option to pay the difference does not exist.  According to HUD, In order to attain the much needed extra space, one must either leave the program, or find a landlord who is willing to provide two leases for the same property, which, as one might expect, is an unnecessary burden to that landlord.

The failure to allow reasonable accommodation to people who try to work from home has resulted in stunting progress and potential outcomes. This teaches that, in order to try to become a successful member of society, one must exit such programs and risk homelessness.  This in turn expands the resistance of landlords to rent to low income tenants who don’t have federal housing assistance, which then increases the likeliness of homelessness and creates a cycle that can easily spiral out of control. All of this leaves people with developmental disabilities to experience less opportunity and more injustice, yet again, lost in the middle of a system designed for, and by, the average members of society.

Nathan’s efforts in self-determination have been relentless and should be seen as an example of the motivation and potential progress that is possible by those with autism and other substantial disabilities. Without the freedom to take reasonable steps to follow through with self-determination goals, self-employment simply creates further reliance upon government programs.  Nathan is hoping only to be allowed to expand his space, without burden to HUD, and in doing so, expand his ability to become more self-sufficient, stating:

Having a place to live, and the federal help to achieve community living, is a great thing. However, living without working is contrary to human nature. It is important and healthy, even rehabilitative, to contribute and feel productive in any way one can. People with forms of substantial disabilities need innovative government policies for reasonable access to hope to achieve a gainful American way of life. A simple garage for instance, is a million possibilities in the making.

John F. Kennedy once said:

The goals of our public welfare program must be positive and constructive. [The welfare program] must stress the integrity and preservation of the family unit. It must contribute to the attack on dependency, juvenile delinquency, family breakdown, illegitimacy, ill health, and disability. It must reduce the incidence of these problems, prevent their occurrence and recurrence, and strengthen and protect the vulnerable in a highly competitive world.

Please help tell the story so people like Nathan, and everyone else in his position, can have a chance to experience the American Dream.

Contact:

For more information about this issue, contact Autism Candles Lighting the Path.

http://www.autismcandles.com/
1-888-241-6858 (Voice/Fax)

To:
CBS News
Fox News
CNN News
A.P News
Congressman Aid #1
Congressman Aid #2
MSNBC News
Heartland Alliance
National Center for Law and Economic Justice
National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)
Autism Candles, Public Relations Mirror
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Department of Justice Civil Rights, Office of Inspector General
News Tips
National Housing Coalition

The Arc
Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro, Representative Field Contact
California DDS, Nancy Lungren, Assistant Director of Communications
Disability Rights Advocates (DRA)
TASH
TASH 2
HDA
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, ngrid Tischer, Director of Development
NOD
WID
Center For Economic & Social Justice, Think Tank & Social Awareness
UUA
NPR News
FAIR
ADAPT
Disability Rights California
Office of Disability Employment Policy, United States Department of Labor
Heather A., Humboldt Housing Authority
ABC News
I just signed the Autism Dreams letter and proudly support Nathan Young and people with autism who have a need to work from home and for this to be allowed by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Decision-maker Center For Economic & Social Justice responds:

      Center For Economic & Social Justice

      The members of the Center for Economic and Social Justice support full and equal opportunities for all people with substantial forms of autism and other developmental disabilities to develop and become empowered to their fullest capabilit...


    2. Decision-maker Center For Economic & Social Justice responds:

      Center For Economic & Social Justice

      Autistic individuals deserve an equal opportunity to share in the American Dream, in which everyone has equal access to becoming an empowered owner of productive capital assets. Own or Be Owned


    3. Reached 1,500 signatures
    4. Dear Autism Dreams Supporters,

      Nathan Young
      Petition Organizer

      (Friends, Friends of Family & Autism Community Supporters)

      Please call Congressman Mike Thompson to ask that he publicly support the Autism Dreams letter and write or support legislation on it's behalf. Congressman Mike Thompson office is well aware of the Autism Dreams letter and the direct contact in the Washington DC office is Carla who has been working with Nathan Young the self-advocate with autism. He wrote to the project a letter a year before the Autism Dreams campaign that in part inspired the entire premise of it pledging to remove barriers in the way of self-sufficiency and economic participation of Americans with disabilities.

      Washington D.C Office..
      Phone: (202) 225-3311
      Leave a Voice mail if after hours..

    5. Decision-maker HDA responds:

      HDA

      please remove my e-mail address from the list.


    6. Decision-maker Heartland Alliance responds:

      Heartland Alliance

      I'm sorry, but Heartland Alliance can't help you on this issue. We are an anti-poverty organization serving those who are homeless or living in extreme poverty. We don't work on issues relating to autism.


    7. Reached 1,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Amanda Price MCDONOUGH, GA
      • 12 months ago

      I have a son with autism.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • G A REDONDO BEACH, CA
      • 12 months ago

      i do not have autism

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Josi Blanco GAINESVILLE, VA
      • about 1 year ago

      I have a son with Autism and know the day to day struggle

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Katherine George CHARLESTON, WV
      • about 1 year ago

      My 12 year old daughter, Alexandria Rutherford is diagnosed with PDD-NOS

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Connor Rapkin NORTH PORT, FL
      • about 1 year ago

      I am autistic, and I am going to represent this

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.