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Reconsider Partnership With Autism Speaks

This petition had 4,175 supporters

As long time supporters and lovers of Sesame Street and its positive message, we implore Sesame Street, urgently, to reconsider its partnership with Autism Speaks.

Autism Speaks has long been criticized for its characterization of Autistic people in a negative and dehumanizing way--concentrating on the fear and tragedy rhetoric.  One need only look at Suzanne Wright's recent Op-Ed where she refers to Autistic people as: "missing", "a crisis", and to families of Autistic people as, "not living."  We hope you can see how objectionable this is.  Autism Speaks is also responsible for an, almost never ending, list of equally abhorrent anti-Autism material.  Including the infamous "I am Autism" video.  You can find the transcript to that here.

In addition to the disrespectful ways that Autism Speaks regularly characterizes Autistic people and their families, Autism Speaks also excludes Autistic people from playing meaningful roles in its leadership.  It is among a handful of major charities that do not have representatives from the populations that they serve in leadership roles.  

Autism  Speaks is also financially irresponsible.  It spends less than 4% of its budget on direct services to Autistic people.  And it is in the bottom 10% of charities, according to Charity Navigator, for financial management because it spends less than 66% of its funds on its very reason for existing.

Sesame Steet has long been known for its committment to the promotion of diversity.  Unfortunately, a partnership with Autism Speaks would negatively impact both that image and the people it is meaning to serve by partnering with Autism Speaks.  

Instead, we urge you to continue your important project in cooperation with Autistic lead organizations like the Autism Women's Network &  Autistic Self Advocacy Network. The Golden Hat Foundation is an organization with both Autistic and Allistic leadership.


Parenting Autistic Children with Love & Acceptance

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