71 petitions

Update posted 21 hours ago

Petition to Journalists , DAVID CHAVERN, NAMI , , Sacramento Bee, Washington Post

Journalists Include Autistics In Your Interviews | We are a Misrepresented People

Autistics are being denied their voice in news publications, online media and all other journalistic mediums. Autistics are a people with our own identity, history, culture and community. We use identity-first language. Autistics are an ethnic group and a neurominority.  We ask that you include us in all matters that involve Autistics, and help bring public enlightenment by reporting on pressing Autistic Community issues: Suicide (#1 cause of death) Caregiver Abuse & Murder Poverty Homelessness Incarceration Autistic Conversion Therapy Zero services and supports for Autistic Adults -- including psychiatric crisis care. (Yes our #1 cause of death is suicide, and yet we are sent home to die by psych wards because they don't know how to treat us.) We ask that you report on the very real prejudices Autistics face daily, our civil rights movement, and community perspectives. We are proud of our birthright and Autistic heritage.  Also, please be sensitive to Autistic Erasure. Autistic women and Autistic mother identities have been co-opted by neurotypical moms of Autistics. The only Autism Mom is an Autistic Mom -- all others are Neurotypical/Non-Autistic Moms of Autistic kids. (FYI: It's a cruelty to be an Autistic woman/mom and be invisible and have even makeup marketed to Autism Moms, and not acknowledging actual Autistic women in marketing.) We ask that you reference #TheAutisticUnion Points & our Autistic Charter of Rights (included below) and keep it in consideration when reporting. If you find these points of humanity not being respected by Autism advocates/organizations -- they are not representatives of Autistic People. Rather, most likely, these are  parent-led organization without Autistic voice and leadership - they ought to be noted in stories as such.  There is an incredible and unfair spread of misinformation about Autistics, and a backlash every time we have positive focus in media. We ask that standard journalistic ethics apply to the Autistic People too. We have a right to life, and deserve to be treated with fairness, justice and integrity. Sincerely, Eve Reiland | Autistic Ambassador & Founder of Proud Autistic Union Member. We are worthy of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  _______________________________________________________ #TheAutisticUnion THE 10 POINTS OF Âû (The Autistic Union) I am Autistic. [or] I support those who are Autistic. I embrace my Autism as a very significant part of my identity. I embrace those who would sacrifice to protect all Autistic life. I embrace the belief that Autism does not need any “curing”. I embrace the self-advocacy goal of “Everything about us, with us”. I embrace the definition of Autism as a neuro-social difference. I embrace measures directed at protecting Autistics from attack. I embrace a person-centred approach to all Autism issues. I embrace rigorous scientific approaches to co-occurring conditions. I embrace Autistics leading their own welfare organisations. _______________________________________________________ International Charter of Autists Rights 1. THE RIGHT TO LIFE We will prevent eugenic elimination of autistic people by opposing pre-natal testing for autism. With the right support services in place, all autistic people are capable of living meaningful and fulfilling lives.  However, negative media coverage and deliberate pity campaigning have created the public opinion that autism is a “tragedy”, and that people with autism have no hope of achieving anything.  As such, the availability of a pre-natal test would cause the majority of autistic people to be aborted. A recent study has shown that 91-93% of foetuses that test positive for Down Syndrome are aborted.  As autism is genetic, if these figures were similar for a pre-natal test for autism, the autistic population would be decimated, and autistic culture would be destroyed. Also, the majority of worldwide autism fundraising currently supports genetic research.  If this money were to be channelled into support services, autistic people would have a much greater chance of living productive lives. 2. THE RIGHT TO HUMANITY We will oppose physically or mentally harmful “treatments” targeting autistic people. Due to the public perception of autism, a large number of unethical treatments have become quite common.  These include physically harmful treatments (such as aversive behavioural therapies or restraints), mentally harmful treatments (such as 20-40 hr/week ABA, restriction of non-harmful stimming and other autistic coping mechanisms), dangerous non-medically approved therapies based on discredited theories or religious beliefs (such as chelation or exorcism), and therapies that would be called “torture” if they were used on nonautistic children (such as the electroshock “behavioural” devices). 3. THE RIGHT TO PARITY We will emphasise the “spectrum” view of autism, and de-emphasise the differences between the various autism spectrum labels. There are several different labels used for people throughout the autistic spectrum.  These include “High Functioning” autism, “Low Functioning” autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and PDD-NOS.  The differences between these labels are often quite blurry, and are often based around childhood development, which has little bearing on the nature of an autistic adult. One of the largest barriers to accessing support service is the use of sub-groupings to assign support, rather than assessing the needs of the individual.  This means that, for example, someone with “high functioning” autism may be denied needed housing support due to the label, whereas someone with “low functioning” autism may be deemed unfit for activities of which they are entirely capable. The autistic spectrum covers a very wide range of people, and these people do not always fit neatly into the available groupings.  Often these groupings are barriers to understanding, rather than tools for understanding.  Essentially, the people in all the above groups are all a part of the autistic spectrum, and generalisation of the specific groups within the spectrum is counterproductive.  The personality and needs assessment of a person on the spectrum should be looked at on an individual basis, rather than on the basis of a label. 4. THE RIGHT TO IDENTITY We will oppose the idea of an autism “cure”. Part of the problem with the “autism as tragedy” point of view is that it carries with it the idea that a person is somehow separable from autism, and that there is a “normal” person trapped “behind” the autism. Being autistic is something that influences every single element of who a person is – from the interests we have, the ethical systems we use, the way we view the world, and the way we live our lives.  As such, autism is a part of who we are. To “cure” someone of autism would be to take away the person they are, and replace them with someone else. Also, funding for “cure” research is unlikely to ever produce a result.  In the meantime, support services for autistic people are under-funded.  This money would be far better used to help existing autistic people. The “cure” mentality also influences cultural treatment of autistic people.  Many parents focus on the idea of finding a cure for their child, and may neglect actual help and support in the process.  Also, teaching children that they are “broken” and need to be “fixed” has long-term consequences for their mental health. 5. THE RIGHT TO SAFETY We will seek evaluation of alleged treatments for ethical approaches. One of the problems with the current state of autism treatments is that there is little in the way of quality control, and often a suggested treatment is commenced without thought for the ethics involved.  Some examples of unethical practices include the use of aversives (e.g. “behavioural” physical harm, denial of food, deliberate triggering of sensory overloads), unreasonably long hours (e.g. many people advocate 40hrs/week of ABA), potentially dangerous treatments (e.g. Chelation), and focusing on “normalisation” rather than help (e.g. restricting non-damaging autistic behaviours, such as stims). 6. THE RIGHT TO SUPPORT We will seek increased funding for, and access to, autistic support services and ethical forms of treatment. Many forms of treatment are highly beneficial to many autistic people – for example, speech therapy, sensory integration therapy, and general counselling.  Also, ongoing support services can help people live more productive lives – for example, emergency housing, specialised medical services, and employment support services. 7. THE RIGHT TO REPUTATION We will oppose negative publicity campaigns against autistic people as a group. The majority of autism fundraising is currently generated using “pity” campaigning, suggesting that autism is tragedy, disease, or epidemic that needs to be stopped.  Unfortunately, this point of view has propagated itself through to talk shows, news stories, and other forms of media coverage. The usual technique is to show nothing but footage of (presumably) autistic children having tantrums, and then footage of parents complaining about their lives.  It is very rare to see footage of an autistic child engaged in ordinary activities and even rarer to see footage of an autistic adult. This “tragedy” view of autism is extremely damaging to autistic people, far beyond the scope that any funds generated could justify.  It causes employment discrimination, it worsens social isolation, and it leads some parents to give up on helping their children, in favour of holding onto a false hope of a cure. Some organisations take this even further, using phrases such as “soulless”, “worse than cancer”, or “incapable of love”.  One of the biggest anti-autistic organisations, Autism Speaks, even went so far as to create a propaganda film in which a woman talks about wanting to drive herself and her autistic child off a bridge.  This statement was made while her autistic child was in the same room. These campaigns are based on stereotypes, prejudice, and deliberate misrepresentation, and they need to be stopped. 8. THE RIGHT TO ACCURACY We will help promote an accurate yet positive image of autism. One of the aims of our organisation is to help create a more positive view of autistic people, by showing the things we actually do, and emphasising positive stories about autistic groups and people.  Autistics are a very diverse group, and our differences are a very valuable part of human diversity. The reason for including the word “accurate” is that, although autistic people have achieved great things in art, science, mathematics, writing, and other creative endeavours, it is often the case that this is exaggerated to say that all autistics are geniuses – which has the unfortunate side effect of suggesting that an autistic person needs to be a genius to be considered a worthwhile human being. Another extreme is the desire of some groups to ascribe mystical qualities to autistic people, which has the side effect of dehumanising autistic people. Autistic people are everywhere.  There is a good chance that you work with or know an autistic person without realising it.  Autism is not a tragedy, or a side effect of genius – it is a difference to be valued.  9. THE RIGHT TO EQUALITY To oppose all forms of prejudice and bigotry. Many problems associated with autism are caused, or worsened, by prejudice.  The root of this is prejudice itself – if we deal with only the forms of prejudice that currently relate to autism, another form of prejudice will rise up to replace them. Because of this, we choose to oppose all forms of prejudice and bigotry. This includes forms of bigotry related to autistic culture, such as: The idea that being neurotypical (i.e. not autistic, or another psychological neurotype) is “better” than being autistic. (Note: this does not relate to talking about specific abilities, just to the idea of general “betterness”). The idea that being autistic is “better” than being neurotypical. (Note: again, this does not relate to talking about specific abilities, just to the idea of general “betterness”). The idea that some labels on the autistic spectrum are acceptable, but others are tragedies.The idea that Asperger’s Syndrome or PDD-NOS should not be part of the autistic spectrum. The idea that people have no right to self-identify as autistic.   

Eve Reiland
53 supporters
Started 7 days ago

Petition to

Ask Former Daytime TV Producer Del Bigtree to Apologize for his film Vaxxed

Del Bigtree produced a film called Vaxxed in 2016 that the public was led to believe was a real documentary showing how the MMR vaccine causes autism. Throughout the film were examples of  "perfectly healthy" children who received the MMR vaccine and then "overnight" "regressed" to autism. On December 1st, 2017 Del Bigtree wrote on Twitter  "The Cause of Autism now Definitive." The tweet included a video where Del explains that the cause of aluminum. Now that Del Bigtree has declared the cause of autism definitive as aluminum I'm calling on Del to make a public apology for his film Vaxxed which wrongly declared the cause of autism to be the MMR vaccine (which has no aluminum.) We are also calling on EVERY SINGLE PERSON associated with Vaxxed (from the director to the caterer) to apologize to each and every family they exploited with this false claim. We thank Del for finally admitting it's NOT the MMR vaccine that causes #autism but we will need a public apology to truly start the healing process. It's time to put his personal agenda aside and think of the families who were harmed by the film. Do the right thing, Del. #delmustapologize   For more watch the Lies of Vaxxed video series: Episode 1: Episode 2: Episode 3: Episode 4:

Real Truther
130 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to President of the United States, Donald Trump


10 Reasons why Lauri Love should not be extradited by Alexander and Sirkka Love On 16 September District Judge Nina Tempia ruled that Lauri should be extradited to the US for alleged hacking of computers of various US Government institutions. The decision came as a surprise and shock to us, and to Lauri’s legal team who had presented clear and compelling evidence to the contrary. Here are 10 reasons why we believe Lauri’s extradition is wrong and should be blocked. The Extradition Act is flawedThe 2003 Extradition Act was drawn up during Tony Blair’s administration and in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist atrocity to make it easier to extradite terrorists and other dangerous criminals to the US. The treaty and its application have been controversial from the start and are seen by many as unbalanced as US only needs to show “reasonable suspicion” rather than any evidence to request extradition. Questions have been raised by politicians of all persuasions as well as the general public. In 2012 the Home Affairs Select Committee acknowledged that there was a low level of public confidence in the legislation. Lauri is a UK citizenLauri is a UK citizen and his alleged crimes would have been committed while he lived in the UK. Many countries (for example, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Finland) do not extradite their own citizens because they affirm their constitutional rights. It also seems that few, if any, US citizens have been extradited to the UK for crimes committed while they were living in the US. Extradition is punishment before trialExtradition is a punishment in itself, and it punishes a person who has not been tried and found guilty. Because Lauri exercised his legal right to oppose extradition, he would be taken in chains to a plane and then placed on remand in a high-security prison. Lauri would be considered a flight risk so there would be no possibility of bail. This pre-trial detention could be for months and quite possibly even longer than Lauri would serve in prison if he were tried and convicted in the UK. It would deprive him of his family life (which is one of the basic human rights), his country and culture, and place him in detention because of suspicion of a non violent crime that noone claims he benefited from personally. Preparing a legal defence in the US would be very difficultLauri’s pre-trial treatment in the US would be unfair. He would cease to be entitled to legal aid and would have to fund his entire US legal defence on his own. Lauri’s ability to prepare his defence would be compromised because of his lack of access to information, computers and other means of communication. This disadvantage would not arise if he was in the UK where he would be allowed bail and he would be working within a system that he is familiar with. Lauri’s mental and physical health would deteriorateLauri’s physical and mental health needs would not met in the US. Lauri has been diagnosed with Autism & Aspergers Syndrome which makes him vulnerable to adverse reactions to change (for example, all his hair fell out when we moved house in 2000), and to depression. He has been suffering from depression since his mid-teens and at times he has been suicidal. Lauri’s physical health is poor – he suffers from severe eczema, frequent bacterial infections and asthma. These conditions would be exacerbated by the stress he would be under if he were taken to US and all that he would have to face there. Judge Tempia acknowledged these serious health concerns despite ruling to extradite Lauri. She did not dispute the medical evidence Lauri’s legal team offered to support his diagnoses. Lauri is at a high risk of suicideThere is a real danger of Lauri taking his own life if he is extradited to the US. The evidence given by a number of witnesses during the extradition hearing concluded that the treatment of mental health problems and suicidal feelings is woefully inadequate in US prisons, and that the methods used to deal with suicide risk are dangerously flawed. In 2012, Theresa May as Home Secretary decided that Gary McKinnon’s “extradition would give rise to such a high risk of him taking his own life that a decision to extradite would be incompatible with his human rights”. Gary, like Lauri, has Aspergers and suffers from depression; the two cases are strikingly similar. Theresa May’s decision was applauded at the time – what has changed? The US prosecution is heavy handed and disproportionateLauri is facing not just one but three extradition requests which means that he can be tried in three different states. The Americans say this is because his alleged hacking involved computer servers in different locations. What it boils down to is that each judge could give him the longest possible sentence allowed, and they could be added together so that he could face decades in prison. The prospect of such a massive sentence would add to the pressure of plea bargaining and make Lauri forgo his right to a trial and plead guilty rather than risk spending a huge amount of time in a foreign prison. Lauri could spend decades in prisonBecause of the three separate trials and also due to more severe sentencing policy in the US, Lauri’s sentence would be totally disproportionate compared with the sentence that he would receive in the UK for the same crime. His legal team have calculated a potential maximum sentence of 99 years, effectively a life sentence. Justice would be better served in the UKLauri could be tried in the UK. A change was introduced to the Extradition Act in 2013 that allows the judge to rule that it would be in the interests of justice to try the person in the UK instead. Surely it is “in the interest of justice” that Lauri lives and faces the consequences of his alleged actions in front of a jury of his peers, in his home country where he can be supported through his trial and possible punishment by his family and friends. How would justice be served by Lauri returning from the States in a body bag? There is no public interest in extraditing LauriJudge Tempia’s concluding comment was that “there is a strong public interest that the United Kingdom should honour its extradition treaty obligations with other countries.” Looking at the controversy and the concerns expressed by politicians of all persuasions, the media and the general public, it seems more appropriate to conclude that there is an even stronger public interest in reviewing extradition obligations so that we arrive at a treaty that is fair and balanced, and fully takes into account the human rights of each and every person.   Amber Rudd orders Laurie Love's extradition/Death Sentence Lauri needs your support more than ever. Here is how you can help MORE than 100 MPs are calling on President Barack Obama to block the extradition of an autistic British man accused of hacking into US computers An autistic man accused of hacking into US government computers would be at "high risk" of killing himself if he is extradited to America Federal Bureau of Prisons: Special Housing Unit Review and Assessment US authorities should be “thankful” a British hacker targeted them instead of terrorist A conversation with Lauri Love British activist and alleged hacker has told a court he fears he will take his own life if he is extradited to the United States .Father fears son will kill himself A hacker's fight against extradition AN alleged hacker battling extradition to the US claims he wants to reassert the sovereignty of the British justice system.  

Kristin Collins
2,037 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Bob Steinburg, Bill Cook, Roy Cooper

"Kendall's Cameras" for NC Special Needs Classrooms

Our family has been fortunate to have teachers and administrators who truly care about Kendall and to these people we will be eternally grateful.  Unfortunately, we have had others who have had a negative impact on our family and will not soon be forgotten by my daughter or our family.  Below is our story. How many of you have been awakened in the middle of the night by your son or daughter?  We all have but the reason my daughter wakes every night is probably different from yours.  Anxiety is the reason my daughter is unable to sleep through the night - anxiety from experiences no child should endure.  During a 3 year span our beautiful daughter was being mistreated by the people who were supposed to be caring for her.  These same people grabbed my daughter, pushed my daughter, pulled my daughter across her classroom and humiliated her in the presence of her peers.  These same people yelled and screamed at my daughter - face to face!  They screamed for her to leave class and sent her out into the hallway alone and confused.  They intentionally agitated her by doing things they knew would upset her and trigger undesirable, uncontrollable behavior.  They once even confiscated my daughter’s shoes because they feared she “might throw them”.  Although my daughter was clearly distraught, they refused to return her shoes and placed her in a dark corner at the end of a short hallway where she could not see or be seen by any other person.  She was berated and belittled because she was unable to control herself in a llarge, noisy gym with children running around screaming.  My daughter has been disciplined for behavior that children without a disability are not punished for.  My daughter has been called names by a teacher and been accused of being a manipulator. Kendall has actually been admittedly mocked by a teacher on 2 different occasions. My daughter apologized to an administrator who walked off without even acknowledging my daughter and then yelled back across a hallway that she accepted her apology.  She humiliated my daughter in front of other children but also in front of other adults who never said a word in defense of my child.  Kendall has been threatened with criminal prosecution and there have been many attempts to intimidate me to make me “fall in line”.   There were some positive changes at the end of her time at school and my daughter was able to return to a new school with new teachers.  She’s was very successful in the beginning but this was short lived as the damage had already been done.  Kendall finds it difficult to trust or form any type of bond with others and although this can be attributed to autism it has become almost impossible after the trauma she has endured.  As you can imagine we were devastated and infuriated when we discovered the things that happened to our once happy child but to also know that others knew and did nothing.  They didn’t speak up or step up and in fact, we have seen people promoted, recognized and rewarded and it is inexpiable why some are even still allowed to work with children at all.  Unfortunately, this is happening across our county, our state and our country.  We need cameras in special needs classrooms to protect our children from those who do not have the necessary mind set, training or desire to truly help our children and support our families.  Families should not have to worry about whether or not our children are safe at elementary, middle and high school.  We shouldn’t have to prepare for meetings as if we are taking the bar exam.  Our children should have full access to programs that are available at school but officials keep them quiet and we have to seek out programs as they aren’t usually readily available.  When you take your child to school do you worry about an adult pushing, pulling, grabbing and screaming in our child’s face?  This is a daily concern for us. If these things were perpetrated against a non-disabled child it would be considered assault but for some reason it is acceptable treatment for our children.  This is the nightmare, the same nightmare every night, which my daughter has been unable to escape. She has been out of school for over 2 years but she is still waking me at night with the same fears and anxiety.  Please read the stories below in our update section and you will clearly see this is an ongoing problem and a few states have already implemented cameras to protect their students along with the teachers and staff who truly care about our kids. Support our efforts by signing and forwarding our petition to your friends and family.  Thank you! In 1998, the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis estimated that 3 individuals with special needs die every week in US schools and Institutions due to abusive practices like restraint and seclusion. The Hartford Courant, which had requested the study, concluded that the actual toll could be three to ten times higher than estimated.  

Toni Kriss
2,846 supporters