On November 29, the House Oversight Committee will be holding a hearing on Autism. Of all the groups and individuals represented in testimony on that day, one stakeholder is missing: anyone who is Autistic themselves. The House Oversight Committee must allow Autistic voices to be heard.
This is the first hearing on Autism in years and by not including Autistic voices, the committee is taking a large step back from other actions where not only have Autistic voices been heard, but sought in conversations about Autism. This is the same committee that held a hearing on contraception earlier this year and did not invite women to participate.
I know the importance of including Autistic people in these discussions. In 2009 I became the first Autistic person to be appointed to the National Council on Disability by President Obama. I've seen the progress the executive branch has made on these issues personally - now it's time for Congress to follow suit.
I am asking your support in having Autistic voices heard in this very important conversation. Tell the House Oversight Committee nothing should be discussed about autism without Autistic people being in the conversation.
- Ari Ne'eman
- House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
We implore you to include testimony from Autistic people. The voice of Autistic people must be heard in conversations about us. History has shown great atrocities happen when a minority is excluded in conversations that impact their lives. This cannot and should not happen now in our enlightened age.
We urge you to take steps to ensure Autistic people are represented in the national discussion about autism by inviting witnesses from organizations run by Autistic adults to participate at the upcoming November 29th House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing.
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