Voices of autism 'silenced' by charity-NTSpeaks.org another

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jaydog
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30 Jan 2008, 2:56 pm

Wow another article on thsi matter....

Voices of autism 'silenced' by charity AN EXTRAORDINARY dispute has broken out between people with autism and a charity that aims to help them. At stake is how such people are perceived by the general public.

Like many people with autism, an autistic blogger who goes by the screen name "Abscout" is angry about the way the condition is portrayed by some charities. To try and paint a different picture, Abscout set up a spoof website called NTSpeaks.org, a parody of the site of the New York-based charity Autism Speaks. The NT stands for neurotypical, a term sometimes used by people with autism to describe the rest of the population.

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autism_diva
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31 Jan 2008, 3:33 am

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Voices of autism 'silenced' by charity
02 February 2008
From New Scientist Print Edition. Subscribe and get 4 free issues.
Celeste Biever


...

AN EXTRAORDINARY dispute has broken out between people with autism and a charity that aims to help them. At stake is how such people are perceived by the general public.

Like many people with autism, an autistic blogger who goes by the screen name "Abscout" is angry about the way the condition is portrayed by some charities. To try and paint a different picture, Abscout set up a spoof website called NTSpeaks.org, a parody of the site of the New York-based charity Autism Speaks. The NT stands for neurotypical, a term sometimes used by people with autism to describe the rest of the population.

Last week, however, in response to demands from Autism Speaks, Abscout took the site down. Autism Speaks claims the site infringed its copyright, and that it could have confused people looking for information about autism. That in turn has outraged Abscout's supporters, who say that Autism Speaks is suppressing the views of the very people it is supposed to represent and help.

"If we do speak, we're only allowed a voice if it agrees exactly with the people who say they're speaking for us," says Amanda Baggs, another blogger with autism based in Burlington, Vermont. "That keeps people believing the same thing Autism Speaks wants people to believe, including every negative stereotype of autism out there."

Autism Speaks says its aim is "to change the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders". One of its stated goals is to "cure" autism - an aim some people with autism find offensive. "The autism spectrum is something that is intrinsic to our personalities," says Ari Ne'eman, president of the Autism Self Advocacy Network in Baltimore, Maryland. "We can no more separate the autistic part of ourselves than we could our gender or race."

“One of the stated goals of Autism Speaks is to 'cure autism' - an aim some people find offensive”
Particularly galling for people with autism, he says, is a video on the charity's site called Autism Everyday, in which mothers of children with autism talk about the emotional and financial impact the condition has had on their lives. "Autism Speaks puts out a very fear-based message," says Ne'eman.

...
Baggs insists there is a need for people with autism to publicise their own messages. She says the charities "change a lot about how autistic people are treated and understood by other people and by professionals".

Gareth Nelson, who founded the autism rights group Aspies For Freedom is doing his bit. In protest at Autism Speaks's actions, he has secured the NTSpeaks.net and NTSpeaks.com domains and posted new parodies of Autism Speaks there. "It is important to do this in order to stop Autism Speaks from simply silencing their critics and to show them that we are not going to sit back while they intimidate people," he says.


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TheFace
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31 Jan 2008, 3:37 am

SCORE FOR THE GOOD GUYS!! !


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02 Feb 2008, 5:36 pm

I noted that an article quoted Autism Speaks this way: "Autism Speaks says that people could have confused NTSpeaks.org with its own site, as it carried a similar logo. 'If an improper use of our name or logo creates confusion among those we serve about the source of information, it is a disservice to all,' a charity spokesman says."

If you look at http://www.landoverbaptist.org/ you will see a parody site of immense proportions. And it does literally every single thing towards Baptists and fundamentalist Christians that could be imagined as an "improper use," etc., that Autism Speaks is complaining about. And Landover Baptist is quite permitted to do so, without any recourse by those who are offended by the site or those religious groups who feel that the site intentionally or otherwise harms them through this kind of confusion.

Frankly, I think the problem here is that a 14 year old quite predictably (Autism Speaks knew all this before writing, I'm sure) over-reacted to the letter by Autism Speaks and is simply unprepared regarding the legal situation. They could certainly continue, I think, and would win if sued. The problem is, of course, that Autism Speaks (and anyone and everyone, really) can file a law suit. And dealing with the filing will cost money, no question. However, a counter-suit would, I think, be able to collect the costs for the trouble. Anyway, I'm no lawyer, but that's my opinion about it.

Take a look at Landover Baptist and see what I mean, here. If you are a religious fundamentalist, evangelical, or a Baptist of any kind, I think you may find the site rather ... disturbing. And I believe that this 14 year old would be perfectly in their rights to launch just such a kind of parody, one just as galling and digging, without any meaningful ability for reprisals by Autism Speaks... and I think that Autism Speaks knew all this before writing, too.

Jon


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02 Feb 2008, 7:27 pm

Autism speaks are despicable!. I'd like to see a large group of us sue them under grounds of unfair representation of Autistics, discrimination and bullying. They are a pro eugenics group of crackpots who have the nerve to masqerade as a 'charity'.

f**k 'EM!


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02 Feb 2008, 9:59 pm

autodidact wrote:
Autism speaks are despicable!. I'd like to see a large group of us sue them under grounds of unfair representation of Autistics, discrimination and bullying. They are a pro eugenics group of crackpots who have the nerve to masqerade as a 'charity'.

f**k 'EM!


agreed!

Autism Speaks. sigh. they're hilarious.


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04 Feb 2008, 9:50 pm

I couldn't find the NTSpeaks.org



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04 Feb 2008, 10:55 pm

pandabear wrote:
I couldn't find the NTSpeaks.org
I think one of the articles said or implied that the original 14 year old owner was forced through intimidation to transfer it to Autism Speaks. Or perhaps I misunderstood and they merely had to shut it down.

Jon


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04 Feb 2008, 11:44 pm

pandabear wrote:
I couldn't find the NTSpeaks.org


Try ntspeaks.com or ntspeaks.net


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06 Feb 2008, 5:52 pm

I personally think autism speaks should be shut down, and each of their members thrown in jail for mass hypocrisy.

Unfortunately, last time i checked, it wasn't a punsihable offense... damn these politicians...


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06 Feb 2008, 5:55 pm

I am sick of all these NT run organizations... shut them all down... unless its advocacy FOR autism it has to go!


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06 Feb 2008, 6:05 pm

I agree, I think organizations made to help aspies should be run BY aspies.



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06 Feb 2008, 6:06 pm

Riddick124 wrote:
I agree, I think organizations made to help aspies should be run BY aspies.


what about us auties and pdd-nos'ies :P


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07 Feb 2008, 1:07 pm

Strapples wrote:
Riddick124 wrote:
I agree, I think organizations made to help aspies should be run BY aspies.


what about us auties and pdd-nos'ies :P

Seconded!

Anyway,it would be great if they concentrated on the advocacy side,but...there is one thing more important to them than life,it's funding,if an autistic is going to need disability benefits,residential placement,own support etc then they are going to be stereotyped as leechers of the government,it's all about funding,they couldn't care less about the autistics who are able to support themselves and don't need benefits.

They should model themselves on the UKs National Autistic Society,which is more about acceptance and support nowdays.


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14 Feb 2008, 7:26 pm

autismspeaks.eu is now owned by an autistic self-advocate and disability rights campaigner: http://laurentius-rex.blogspot.com/2008 ... speak.html