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ASPartOfMe
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Location: Long Island, New York

26 Mar 2024, 4:19 pm

For years, ASAN and our allies have been working to stop the electric skin shock torture being used on some residents of the Judge Rotenberg Center. We have another chance RIGHT NOW to stop this for good! Read on to learn more about the issue and how YOU can take action.

Background
The Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) is an institution in Massachusetts. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), mental health disabilities, and learning disabilities live there. Both kids and adults live at the JRC. Many autistic people live there.

Some people at the JRC are forced to wear an electric shock device. This device is used to punish the person wearing it. The device punishes people by giving them electric shocks. These electric shocks are very painful. The JRC shocks people for small things like refusing to take off their jackets or stimming.

People with disabilities and our allies have been fighting to stop the JRC. We want to stop people at the JRC from getting shocked. We’ve been working together to try to stop the JRC for more than 10 years. We call our campaign #StopTheShock.

What’s Happening Right Now?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a federal government agency. They are in charge of making sure food and medicine are safe. They are also in charge of medical devices. That means the FDA is in charge of the electric shock devices.

To ban electric shock devices, the FDA must make a rule. A rule tells people what they are allowed to do. It also tells people what they are not allowed to do. The FDA just put out a proposed rule. A proposed rule is an idea or draft of a rule. That means people don’t have to follow the rule yet. They only have to follow the rule if it gets passed.

The FDA is asking for public comments on the proposed rule. Public comments are a way for people to share ideas with the government. Public comments let the government know what everyday people think about a rule or law.

The FDA wants to know what people think of their proposed rule. We must tell the FDA that we want them to pass the rule. We want the FDA to ban electric shock devices.

How Can I Take Action?
The best way for people to help #StopTheShock is to submit a public comment to the FDA. We made a plain language toolkit that shows you how to write and submit a public comment. The toolkit goes over what you should include in your comment.

Anyone can submit a public comment! Public comments do not need to be long or complicated. The FDA wants to hear what everyday people think about the proposed rule to ban electric skin shock devices. Even if you have never written a public comment before, our plain language toolkit will tell you everything you need to know.

After the FDA reads and reviews all the public comments, it will decide whether or not to issue the proposed rule, which means people would have to follow it. We will keep you updated on what happens once the FDA makes a decision. Thank you for taking action to #StopTheShock!

Plain Language Toolkit

Form to submit comment


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Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


CockneyRebel
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28 Mar 2024, 7:59 pm

I've submitted the form. We need to put an end to this. This has been going on for far too long.


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ASPartOfMe
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18 Jun 2024, 12:20 pm

Action Alert: Call Now to #StopTheShock!

Quote:
Last week, we wrote to you about a bill that was being voted on in a subcommittee of the House of Representatives. The bill is the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. Some Members of Congress added a new section to the bill, Section 722. If this bill becomes law, this section would stop the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from banning the electric shock devices used at the Judge Rotenberg Center.

The subcommittee passed the bill The next committee to vote on the bill will be the full House Appropriations Committee. They will vote on the bill on July 10th. We have between now and July 10th to stop this bill and save the FDA’s power to ban electric shock torture. Take action today to #StopTheShock!

First, check to see if your House Representative is on the Appropriations Committee. Check if they are on the member list here. If you are not sure who your Representative is, you can find out by putting in your ZIP Code here. If your Representative is on the Appropriations Committee, call the House switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Representative’s office. You can say “Please connect me to Representative [first and last name]’s office.”

Once you are connected to your Representative’s office, you can use our script:

My name is [your full name], and I am from [your city]. I am a constituent of Representative [Name]. I’m calling to ask Representative [Name] to oppose Section 722 of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. This rider takes away the FDA’s ability to ban the use of electric skin shock for behavior modification. Only one institution in the country still uses electric shocks this way, and the UN found the practice to be torture in 2013. The FDA’s proposed rule to ban the devices this year received hundreds of public comments in support of the ban, and this bill would take that decision away. The House must make sure the people they represent are heard. Can I count on Representative [Name] to oppose this rider?

If your Representative is not on the House Appropriations Committee, there is still something you can do! You can call the staff leads of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies subcommittee. Their contact information is:

Pam Miller (202-225-2638) and

Martha Foley (202-225-3481).

You can use this script to plan what you will say:

My name is [your full name], and I am from [your city]. I am a constituent of Representative [Name]. I’m calling to oppose Section 722 of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. This rider takes away the FDA’s ability to ban the use of electric skin shock for behavior modification. Only one institution in the country still uses electric shocks this way, and the UN found the practice to be torture in 2013. The FDA’s proposed rule to ban the devices this year received hundreds of public comments in support of the ban, and this bill would take that decision away. The House must make sure the people they represent are heard. Please do whatever you can to get this rider removed!

Have call anxiety, or wondering what to expect from a call to your elected officials? Check out this guide to making a call to your Members of Congress. It is very important that we call many times between now and July 10th.

Once you’re done calling, you can email using our tool here. If your Representative is on the House Appropriations Committee, you can email their office. If your Representative is not on this committee, you can email the subcommittee staff leads and other Committee staff. Our email tool will automatically email the right people for you. Then, get the word out by sharing on social media!

Our community can’t wait. We have to take action now to save the FDA ban and end the torture. Your advocacy will make sure we #StopTheShock for good. Thank you for taking action today!


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


SpiritCreeper
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Joined: 1 May 2024
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19 Jun 2024, 3:41 pm

Can I join in with the campaign to 'Stop the Shock', or will the authorities not listen to people outside the US?



ASPartOfMe
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11 Jul 2024, 4:38 pm

ASAN welcomes removal of harmful appropriations bill rider

Quote:
ASAN welcomes the removal of Section 722 from the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. In June, some members of Congress introduced a rider to the act that would stop the FDA from banning electric shock devices for behavior modification, such as the devices used at the Judge Rotenberg Center. Section 722 said the FDA cannot ban a device that is used by court order. All of the electric shock devices used at the Judge Rotenberg Center are used because of a court order.

If this rider had passed, it would have taken away the FDA’s power to move forward with the proposed rule that ASAN and many grassroots advocates commented to support. Because of your powerful activism, this rider failed to make it into the final bill, and the FDA still has the power to #StopTheShock.

This was only possible thanks to the hard work of our grassroots. You called, emailed, and shared across social media to make your voices heard. Members of our community have fought to end the use of shock devices at the JRC for over a decade, and we will not be ignored. Your calls, along with the hundreds of public comments sent in support of the FDA’s proposed rule, have gotten us that much closer to ending this tortuous practice once and for all.

We also thank the many members of the House Appropriations Committee who supported removing Section 722. At last night’s markup of the bill, Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro and Representatives Chellie Pingree and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz all used their opening remarks to point out the harm this rider would have caused, and the urgent need to remove it. Subcommittee Ranking Member Sanford Bishop spoke in his remarks about our community’s work to educate the Committee members on this issue. We are thrilled that the House Appropriations Committee listened to our community on this urgent issue and acted to protect disabled people from torture.

We are grateful that this rider did not make it into the current version of the bill, but the fight isn’t over yet. The full House of Representatives, and the Senate, still need to vote on this bill. Thanks to your efforts, we have built strong bipartisan opposition to Section 722. We will continue to work with Congress to make sure this rider stays out of the final bill. Meanwhile, the FDA still needs to do their part with the power our community fought for them to keep. ASAN calls upon the FDA to swiftly release the final version of their proposed rule “Banned Devices; Proposal to Ban Electrical Stimulation Devices for Self-Injurious or Aggressive Behavior.”


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman