School should be a safe place-not for fundraising for the prevention and cure of Autistic students. Walmart has teamed up with Autism Speaks to sell Autism Speaks-themed puzzle piece "school supplies." These supplies will be available in Walmart stores throughout the country starting in August. The placement of the merchandise in the school supplies section, is cause for great concern. The puzzle supplies target school-aged children and families shopping for school materials. They also target and single out children on the autism spectrum who will be shopping in Walmart for their school supplies and then going to school with "puzzle piece" and autism logos drawing attention to them in ways that may unintentionally cause problems for them. Although Autism Speaks markets this as "acceptance" (a phrase co-opted from the Autistic community and parent supporters), and "awareness," what Autism Speaks is doing, clearly spelled out on merchandise, is donating 6% of the proceeds to "funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism."
Direct contact form for Walmart Ethics Concerns: https://walmartethics.com/ReportAConcern.aspx
Two Autistic parents blog about why selling school supplies to fundraise for "cures" for our children is a really bad idea:
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