The "Add Our Voices" Autism Campaign Doesn't Speak for Us

The "Add Our Voices" Autism Campaign Doesn't Speak for Us

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We, the undersigned, strongly oppose the proposed "National Autism Strategy" being promoted by the Share Our Voices campaign.

Led by Paula Williams and Lori Clark, Share our Voices does not represent the needs or the voices of autistic people in Canada. They did not meaningfully consult with autistic Canadians nor with self-advocacy organizations as to what services and programs work for us. Instead, they used testimonials from parents and providers who fit into the project's narrow agenda.

According to their video, the Add Our Voices campaign “speaks up for the kids who can’t speak for themselves.” We disagree. Autistic and disabled people can express what we need through a variety of communication platforms. Through this petition, we are speaking for ourselves and saying: We don't want a lobby group that represents a business interest claiming to speak for us!

In an era of disability inclusion and fairness in consultation, Canadian autism policy should not be informed by proposals like Add Our Voices. Instead, we encourage the Government of Canada to consult with autistic constituents and self-advocacy organizations when drafting policy that affects the lives of autistic Canadians.

Nothing about us without us!