LEAD PARTNERS Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization run by and for Autistic people. ASAN is a national partner of the LEAD Center and ASAN President and Co-Founder Ari Ne’eman serves as co-lead with National Disability Institute Executive Director Michael Morris for the LEAD Center's Public Policy team. ASAN also works with the LEAD Center to create the monthly LEAD Center Employment, Health Care and Disability Policy Update.
ASAN’s supporters include Autistic adults and youth, cross-disability advocates, and non-autistic family members, professionals, educators and friends. ASAN was created to provide support and services to individuals on the autism spectrum while working to educate communities and improve public perceptions of autism. ASAN activities include public policy advocacy, community engagement to encourage inclusion and respect for neurodiversity, quality of life oriented research and the development of Autistic cultural activities. ASAN provides information about autism to the public through a number of different educational, outreach and systems change related projects.
ASAN also engages in direct collaborations with employers to support their recruitment of talent from within the Autistic community. For the last three years, ASAN has partnered with Freddie Mac, established by Congress in 1970 to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation’s residential mortgage markets, to help them recruit recent graduates on the autism spectrum for paid internships within the company. The intent of these internships is to serve as an extended on-the-job interview for talented Autistic adults looking to enter Freddie Mac's workplace. ASAN provides training and support to Freddie Mac hiring managers and supervisors as well as to recruited interns.
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network seeks to advance the principles of the disability rights movement with regard to autism. Drawing on the principles of the cross-disability community, ASAN seeks to organize the community of Autistic adults and youth to have their voices heard in the national conversation about autism. ASAN believes that the goal of autism advocacy should be a world in which Autistic people enjoy the same access, rights and opportunities as all other citizens. ASAN hopes to empower Autistic people across the world to take control of their own lives and the future of our common community. Nothing About Us, Without Us!
For more information about ASAN, visit their website at autisticadvocacy.org