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.