The UN and Henry’s Struggle To Be Heard

Another short post today as I have a meeting in another two hours.

As I wrote yesterday I went to a meeting at the UN - The Fifth Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of People With Disabilities moderated by Juan Carlos Brandt, Chief, Advocacy and Special Events, Department of Public Information, United Nations.  The specific event I was invited to attend entitled:  “Urgency and Hope, Report from Global Leaders in Autism Research, Education, Treatment and Policy” Joshua Weinstein, CEO and Founder of the organization, icare4autism, presented with Stephen Shore, Beth Diviney and Eric Hollander presenting as well.  ICare4Autism is the organization that invited me to attend their conference in Jerusalem this past August, which I wrote about.

Juan Carlos Brandt and Joshua Weinstein 

I asked an Autism group I’m a part of whether anyone had messages for me to take to the event and a number of people wrote things such as A. who asked that I say something about “using a functioning level (usually an assumed one) to silence someone is never ok” and S. who wrote “Disability Rights are Human rights.  More specifically Autistic Rights are Human Rights.  We deserve to be treated as equals.”  Several asked that I stress the need for all to presume competence and P. asked that I be sure to say, “don’t assume I have nothing to say, just because I do not speak.”  But the first person who reached out to me was Henry who sent me this:

He wrote:  “Could you please tell them I would like to be included and learn with friends my age and where I live? I wrote this.”I am a self advocate. I want the same rights as everyone. 

Today I read about Martin Luther King.
The worksheet said because of Dr King’s work, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave equal rights to all people.
I am a person.
I want these rights.

I want to go to school in my neighborhood.

Why can’t I?

Joshua Weinstein and Juan Carlos agreed to allow me to show Henry’s video, but when they tried to run it, they weren’t able to as evidently the internet was down in the entire building.  (It’s the UN!  And we think we have technical problems!!)  So as they were trying to get the video up and running I read some of the quotes from others.    I’m sorry Henry! But I’m going to keep trying.  I know many others are too.  To everyone reading this, please watch Henry’s video and “like”, comment and share.  This is one person’s struggle, but it represents the struggle of so many.

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8 responses to “The UN and Henry’s Struggle To Be Heard

  1. mom is typing this because emma is dressing and she asked me to write this: please remind people some of us can hear so please do not talk infront of us as if we can’t.

  2. That video was amazing, and so moving! I also saw Carly Fleishman on The Doctors yesterday. They both give me hope!

  3. Beautiful! You hit high! I hit low. Perhaps awareness will follow.

  4. I feel compelled to quote Ted who says, “Those who would defend their own freedom but fail to stand up for that of others fail to see that only in a society where all individual freedom is valued above all else are they free at all.”

    This from a young man, diagnosed with Aspergers, who was removed from his neighborhood school and placed in a self-contained, emotionally conflicted classroom. He has been bullied, outcasted, isolated, reprimanded and told that he needed to change and yet he is the one who considers and is concerned about freedom for all. What does it say about our society that he was told he was the one that needed to change?

    My thoughts will be with Henry and hope that soon he too will be on the receiving end of change.

  5. So glad you are on Henry’s and others’ side. Leah shared Henry’s story on Google Plus and I reposted it there and on FB too. He is an amazing young man who deserves to be heard. Mahalo for all you do!

  6. Amazing Henry! He needs to be heard, to be actually listened to, and responded to with a loud clear “Henry, keep on standing up with all the thousands of voices out there but are not listened to!”

    One Granma who Cares!

  7. Joshua Weinstein
    Left starving families.
    Infants and children.
    He does not pay salaries to its organization in Israel.
    Disgrace.

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