This action alert is designed to let the British Charity Action for Children know about the need to avoid unethical autism advertising in response to their recent television advertisements. E-mails sent through it will go to Action for Children, their supporter in Parliament, MP Hilary Armstrong and the British Fundraising Standards Board.
We provide a basic letter for you to use as an example, but if you have the time and ability, we encourage you to personalize it to reflect your own thoughts in order to show the breadth and passion of feeling that this issue brings in our community.
- Action for Children
- British Parliament
- Fundraising Standards Board
Fundraising Standards Board
I am writing to complain about the recently aired "Meet Dan" advertising as part of Action For Children's broader "Stuck in the Middle" campaign. The ads portray an individual on the autism spectrum with a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome being bullied and later being placed in an Action for Children school because of the perceived monster of his Autism Spectrum diagnosis, as portrayed through the imagery utilized in the television advertisement. Although the aim of these advertisements - to focus attention on the need for greater support for children with disabilities - the means that Action for Children has chosen to do so is not. By portraying autism as an external monster and by placing fault with the individual rather than the persistent discrimination and social barriers that autistic people, like other individuals with disabilities, face in society, Action for Children has misrepresented the autism spectrum in a very damaging fashion.
We urge Action for Children to immediately withdraw this advertisement, apologize to the autistic community and commit to seek the input of autistic-run advocacy organizations, such as the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, the London Autism Rights Movement and AutreachIT in future advertising and fundraising efforts. Autistic children grow up to be autistic adults, and it is only proper that you respect and work with those whom your work desires to assist.
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