Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Autism ACCEPTANCE- Tone it Down Taupe Sponsors iPad Giveaway in April

Tone It Down Taupe -The iPad mini scholarship is on! Details below…

Tone it Down Taupe is sponsoring this fantastic gift giveaway for two deserving Autistic adults for April’s Autism Acceptance Month celebration. TiDT’s initiative is to put a halt to the fear from myths and stereotypes which are perpetuated about Autistic people. TiDT says, “Tone it down. Tone down the fear rhetoric. Tone down the alarmism. It is not necessary to light anything blue to show support and love for an autistic individual.”

Tone it Down Taupe Sponsors iPad Giveaway in April- Radio Show with AWN Blogtalk Radio


During the month of April 2014, any donations I receive will be given to Tone it Down Taupe to help purchase another iPad, to be given to an Autistic adult. Tone it Down Taupe is doing iPad and Android mini scholarships. You can donate directly to them or send it here, since you are here anyway, and ALL the donations will be given to Tone It Down Taupe. If you designate your donation as a gift, more of the donation will go directly to the recipient.

This makes so much more sense than blue lightbulbs:

Light It Up Blue! Burn Money for Autism! 




Monday, March 17, 2014

Autism Acceptance Day 2014

Autism Acceptance Day and Month, 2014 Facebook Event

Autism Acceptance Day and Month continue in our fourth year. Interviews with Autistic people about Autism ACCEPTANCE will continue over the year. This resource of interviews will add to the growing body of accepting views of autism. Interviews will be published on the Autism Acceptance Day blog.

http://autismacceptanceday.blogspot.com/p/new-series-interviews-with-autistics.html

I will publish Autism Acceptance Day and Month events and activities that are sponsored and promoted by Autistics and allies and that are primarily Autistic-led. Some events and activities have stared using the word "acceptance" but have little Autistic input, payments to non-Autistics but not to Autistics, "treatments" and that sort of thing. Those can feel free to do what they want; they just won't appear here.

Autism Acceptance Day. Image by Amy Gould Caraballo, 2011

International Autism Acceptance Decade 2010-2020: Moving beyond Awareness. Image by Landon Bryce, 2013

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Making Investment Dollars off Autism

I read a tweet from Autism Speaks today. The blatant "cure autism" language is back. For a couple of years, Autism Speaks and their cronies (aka sponsors and investment partners) tried to pretend they were all about "acceptance." They were trying to copy ASAN, me, and the many Autistics and family members who are so very tired of the demoralizing and USELESS "cure" language that the media, under the influence of Autism Speaks, uses. Cure-oriented language saturates most conversations about us and wears down parents, Autistics, and everyone else.

Oh wait. Not everyone. Those looking to use autism as their investment opportunity, such as Google Ventures, WELCOME the idea of wiping autism (which is actually Autistic people, no matter how you try to sugarcoat it) off the face of the earth. (As I read this aloud to proofread, my son inserts a line from Star Wars: "Execute Order 66." Go search that if you don't get the allusion).

Google Ventures and Autism Speaks, and a number of business investment journals are all excited about the opportunity to cure us, while making big bucks at the same time.  This week is the "Autism Investment Conference 2014" and the media and investors are being really obvious about 1. their desire for money, and 2. the idea that autism needs to be cured. I am going to post some screen captures and label them when I can. While investors and developers compete for cash, I am working THREE part-time jobs trying to make ends meet, and I need to go back to work. I am partly: self-employed part-to-full-time (depending on the week and month), and two part-time jobs. One thing I will NOT do is try to make money off people with disabilities.

Robert Ring is the chief science officer of Autism Speaks and investment, not autism or Autistic people, is his forte and major concern. If I had 1/6 of what he makes in a year I would be able to pay off all my debts (won't go into that here) and save twenty additional years of work. BIG BUCKS off autism. I am tired of it. He is getting paid to tweet, by the way. I am not. 

People who want to make our lives easier with services and supports are competing for investment funds. I don't fault those people. I do fault the cure-oriented message behind Google Ventures and business journals' articles. Too bad the legitimate enterprises have to be mixed up with this unscrupulous group. From the article about Google: "In Google Inc.'s game of tackling big, knotty problems with data, there are few diseases meatier than autism." It makes me SICK. Autistic lives are not your "game," Google.

A tweet from Robert Ring @DrRobRingAS. The tweet says "How Google Ventures is looking to cure autism through data, investment" and then a link to an Upstart business journal article. The article's URL says "Google is going after autism through data, investment." The url, via DoNotLink is http://www.donotlink.com/eGn Under that is my response, and I am too tired to write it out here. Sorry



Image: Headline: "How Google Ventures is looking to cure autism through data, investment." I crossed out cure and wrote in ACCEPT. I also put one of those red "no" circles with a line through it across the picture.

This is a screen capture of the same photo, only as it appears on Autism Speaks' page dedicated to the keynote delivered by Google Ventures about "autism-related business opportunities."

And, Autism Speaks is still trying to cash in on Autism Acceptance, of all things. 

 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

IACC Reauthorization- Stop Combating Me

NEW. StopCombatingMe blog: http://stopcombatingme.wordpress.com/

I have been working to counter the many glaring deficiencies in the "Combating" Autism Act since 2006. This blog post includes links to some of my testimony and writings, and the new #StopCombatingMe initiative of ASAN and BoycottAutismSpeaks.

This post will be updated over the next week. I have a phenomenal amount of work to do in other areas, so will need to come back and fill in many details. To start with, I will post the Autistic Self Advocacy Network's information about the "Combating" (NOT!) Autism Act Reauthorization. ASAN has been in forefront of IACC reform since its inception in 2006 and was the only organization that dared to counter the "devastating disorder" that was and still is the main focus of the IACC and NIMH. The Public Law 112-32, formerly 109-416, NEEDS TO CHANGE NOW. It's been too many years, and we STILL need a focus on supports and services.

Sign ASAN's action alert here: http://action.autisticadvocacy.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=10412

Read more about the concerns Autistics and our friends and families have here:

http://autisticadvocacy.org/2014/03/stopcombatingme/

 Factsheet from ASAN:  http://autisticadvocacy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/ReformCAAFactSheet_r1.pdf

I will post links to all the meetings and my testimony when I get a chance. NOTE: I am only ONE of many many Autistics and family members who have grave concerns with the ongoing focus away from services and supports.

Comments I made SIX YEARS AGO (and I have been countering the "combating" problem, and the cure mentality, with barely any focus on what would help us NOW, for EIGHT YEARS. http://paulacdurbinwestbyautisticblog.blogspot.com/2009/11/iacc-commentary-march-14-2008.html

And this is from 2011. Do you notice a pattern? We have needed real, meaningful change for a long time now.
Oppose "Combating Autism Act" Re-Authorization (NOTE! This is from 2011 and not the current initiative!)


I attended and gave testimony at IACC meetings on the following dates:

March 14, 2008

May 12, 2008 http://autisticadvocacy.org/2008/11/comments-at-november-21-2008-iacc-meeting/

November 21, 2008 (invited presentation on ethical issues in autism research)

December 12, 2008

January 14, 2009 http://autisticadvocacy.org/2009/01/comments-at-january-14-2009-iacc-meeting/

February 4, 2009 http://autisticadvocacy.org/2009/02/comments-at-february-4-2009-iacc-meeting/

Note: The IACC Strategic Plan did not even address Augmentative and Alternative Communication! "Regarding communications technologies and systems, the Strategic Plan mentions Picture Exchange Communication Systems but does not address other systems. PECS can not adequately represent the entire realm of Augmentative and Alternative Communication/Assistive Technology. The Strategic Plan should recommend funding specific research initiatives into emerging promising communications technologies, both for those with no or little expressive language and for those who do have expressive language but cannot always access it reliably."

May 4, 2009 http://autisticadvocacy.org/2009/05/comments-at-may-4-2009-iacc-meeting/

Note: At the May 4 2009 meeting, the IACC finally had a presentation on AAC. See Feb. 4 for the motivation for that. 

"Since communication difficulties are experienced by many, if not most, people on the autism spectrum, funding research in this area should be a high priority. Advances in communication technology, and the development of AAC options that are affordable, will have a practical application to the lives of people on the autism spectrum, throughout the entire lifespan.
Because of the extreme disparity between services/quality of life funding and the funding of basic research, funding for AAC should be diverted from the millions of dollars allocated to genetic and treatment research and NOT drawn from the already minimal funding for service-related research."

invited participant in IACC Scientific Workshop, 2009 http://iacc.hhs.gov/events/2009/scientific_workshop/index.shtml

October 23, 2009 http://autisticadvocacy.org/2009/10/comments-at-october-23-2009-iacc-meeting/

November 10, 2009 http://autisticadvocacy.org/2009/11/comments-at-november-10-2009-iacc-meeting/

January 19, 2010

April 30, 2010

invited participant September 26, 2011 http://iacc.hhs.gov/non-iacc-events/2011/elsi-workshop-biosketches-sept26.shtml

Note- I just put in those dates from memory. Because I am awesome with "random numbers" like that.
 ---
One article I wrote concerning the IACC, with a focus on IACC members' insistence on "scientific research," which is a distortion of the actual law: "Public Law 109-416 Is Not Just about Scientific Research": Speaking Truth to Power at Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee Meetings

In addition please join Boycott Autism Speaks in a flashblog, #stopcombating me. Send your submission to info@boycottautismspeaks by March 11, 2014, by 12 pm EST, which is noon, USA East Coast Time.



Tell Congress to Reform the Combating Autism Act or let it expire. Twitter Bomb: March 6th Hashtag Everything #StopCombatingMe boycottautismspeaks.com


Flashblog: March 12th #SoptCombatingMe Email your submission to info@boycottautismspeaks.com by 3/11/14 @12 pm EST

Excellent images from Musings of an Aspie:  http://musingsofanaspie.com/2014/03/06/combat-this/



Sunday, February 23, 2014

Autism Speaks "Expert" Says Parents Waste Time Fighting Abuse and Restraint

An article and video came to my attention from NBC 4, Southern California (via DoNotLink):
Lawsuit Against School District Alleges Mistreatment of Child With Autism

"The parents of an 11-year-old boy with autism have filed a lawsuit against the Orange Unified School District on allegations of physical and psychological abuse."  GOOD FOR THEM. Too bad that parents have to fight, one by one, abuses that do occur in schools, some of which have caused DEATHS. For more on that read the detailed GAO report from a 2009 study here: Selected Cases of Death and GAO United States Government Accountability Office Testimony Before the Committee on Education and Labor, House of Representatives SECLUSIONS AND RESTRAINTS Abuse at Public and Private Schools and Treatment Centers . Why was the child is this case RESTRAINED BY TWO ADULTS FOR OVER 12 MINUTES? HE WAS CRYING. It makes ME want to cry.

Interestingly, and, NBC 4 Southern California, please do some FACT CHECKING before you tell parents that their lawsuits won't matter, Block-Nerren, rather than being any autism expert at all, is a marketer and owner at a media services company. FMS raises funds for Autism Speaks, which hardly qualifies one as an "autism expert." I am not sure why NBC wants to tout a theme that suggests that parents are wasting their time fighting abuses in school systems.

This is what the autism "expert" does- raises funds for Autism Speaks. After all that money (remember the 62 million?) that Autism Speaks raises, you would think they would get an expert who could quote law, cases, etc. No. Instead,"An autism expert says there are times when a child can be restrained, such as if they are posing a threat to themselves or to others." and then goes on to "reassure" parents: "According to autism expert [name deleted, why promote it] the legal battle the Ashlines are fighting won't help parents of other autistic children. "There’s this saying that if you’ve met one child with autism, you’ve met one child with autism. And the reason why is because all of our kids are different," ["autism expert"] said." What a downer. Especially for parents who are in the midst of more lawsuits than I can count against school systems where abuses have occurred.

Besides being one of the most inane things I have ever read about "why a lawsuit won't help," (really? Maybe Brown v. Board of Education should have been canceled because no two African Americans are alike?), it shows that people who are close to Autism Speaks, whether staff, or major volunteer-fundraisers (but not actual experts) are, typically, very negative about anything related to autism (other than fundraising). Parents have confided how discouraged they are with Autism Speaks, but to my knowledge, this is the first time one of their representatives has come out so strongly anti-parent. In my sector of the Autistic Community, we are used to Autism Speaks saying things like I am autism. I’m visible in your children, but if I can help it, I am invisible to you until it’s too late. I always thought that meant that Autism Speaks was throwing its weight behind parents, as though "parent" and "Autistic" were somehow diametrically opposed. They're not, but that's a topic for a different blog entry. Now, I am pretty sure that what Autism Speaks really supports is.... Autism Speaks. Look at the client list for Felten Media, and you see a whole lot of ... Autism Speaks. I decided to erase the names of a lot of the other clients, but am wondering if any of the law firms represented are the ones working for the Orange Unified School District. Why doesn't someone other than me follow up on that, please. (They might not be but it is something to wonder about...)

She should clearly stay out of discussing whether or not parents should exercise their rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). Here's a site to get any parents reading this started. Note: I am doing this whilst also completing a work deadline so am providing one link to get people started: Abuse, Restraints and Seclusion in School.

Dear Autism Speaks "expert," Inappropriate restraints in schools: It happens all. the. time. If class action suits were permitted, it would happen A LOT LESS. Maryland General Assembly: Place the Burden of Proof on School Districts in IDEA Due Process Cases & Support Maryland's Most Vulnerable Children (www.burdenofproofmd.org) Julie Reiley Petition by Julie Reiley Bethesda, MD
Learn more about this legislation here: http://www.burdenofproofmd.org/

NOTE: I removed the name of the media services company. No point in giving them free advertising.

Another note: I removed the screen shot of the person because it was not necessary. At first I thought it would help explain something but it really does not.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Autism Designation on Virginia Driver's Licenses, Not "Voluntary" for Many, Passes Senate Transportation Committee

This is the back of a driver's license. My Virginia driver's license looks almost exactly like this one on the back. It has a bar code on the lower left and a large bar code (with QR code-like markings) across the top. This license image is actually from New York because I could not find a VA image, but other than the state, mine looks like this. I have added the words "AUTISM" in red across one of the bar codes to symbolize what an officer might see upon scanning the code. The words AUTISM would not be visible unless scanned, but then, they would. If there are already two codes on the back of the license, will the AUTISM designation be another bar? Or will it be within the bars already there? Good question for those wondering how their licenses/IDs might look different enough to alert employers and others that their license is a "little bit different."


UPDATE: So, this thing is a little bit closer to becoming a law. If you put your child's or teen's dx on their license or ID, you need to plan for possible unintended consequences. Those of us who are adults, according to the many people I interviewed, have already figured out that we aren't doing that, so it will mostly affect people who can't decide for themselves. Here's the report from the LIS. All the delegates who voted, voted for it to continue to the full House Committee on Transporation. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?141+vot+H1903V0036+SB0367

 We are going to see a whole bunch of this in Virginia. DMV Sued over License Requirements for People with Disabilities  North Carolina discriminates against drivers with disabilities by subjecting them to unnecessary road tests and medical exams and arbitrarily restricting their driving, according to a federal lawsuit filed this week. 


Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/02/20/4712289/dmv-sued-over-license-requirements.html#.Uwv4m4X_oqU#storylink=cpy

(Someone has pointed out that the title should read: "Not at all voluntary," but I was trying to give at least a little benefit of the doubt to the idea that this could be a voluntary bill, based on the language visible in the bill. The bill's language leaves much out of the picture of what would really happen if it passes.)

A bill, SB367, which would allow an autism or other diagnosis on driver's licenses and special identification cards in Virginia passed in the Virginia General Assembly Senate Transportation Committee Wednesday. It then passed the Senate unanimously. It will move over to the House of Delegates.

The bill, which was widely unknown in the Autistic community until a concerned parent contacted me about it, has been greeted with a mixture of responses from Autistics and people with disabilities, and quite a few parents. The dominant feeling is one of alarm.  

The biggest concern is that this designation on a driver's license is not completely voluntary. This has been made clear by the person who is spearheading the effort, Pam Mines. In an article on the topic, the mother of a 9-year old child said: "He's only 9, but he will drive one day. And before he drives, we want people to be able to look on the ID and see that he has autism," said Mines.

I have been in touch with both the bill's sponsor, Donald McEachin, and Pam Mines, and am planning to follow up on initial conversations with both.

Senator McEachin wrote to me and said that the bill is "voluntary." He told me that the designation would be a code on the back of the drivers license. "It is a code known to police that will alert them to the fact that the person has the disability." http://www.nbc29.com/story/24473883/law-allowing-autism-to-be-listed-on-ids-moves-through-legislature

But in an email with Mines, she told me "Minors can be signed up by their parent/guardian." She is hoping to sign her son up to make police and others aware that Autistics and people with intellectual disabilities can and do drive. Because the legislation is therefore, not actually voluntary, people who have IDs or driver's licenses before they are 18 may have an autism designation they do not want on their license or ID. If they are aware of this and want it removed, the bill provides that they can do so when they are 18: "Customers may add, modify, or delete information at any time. Such modifications or deletions will overwrite all previously provided information." Actually, they can't "at any time" if they are under 18, and then, with some of the difficulties that Autistics and people with other developmental and intellectual disabilities have, it may be more difficult for us to remove unwanted information in a timely fashion. If we are 18 or over and have a guardian, we still might not be able to have it removed. A lot of clarification and rewriting will have to occur to make this a voluntary measure.

If a person other than the driver or bearer of a license or identification card can apply for the designation, it is not "voluntary" for that person.

The bill also provides "an emergency contact program to allow customers to give DMV an emergency contact person and information to keep in their customer record to be made available to law-enforcement officers in emergency situations." Again, only voluntary emergency contacts would be safe for Autistics or people with disabilities in abusive circumstances. One would like to assume that most parents/guardians are "safe" people. In some situations they are not, and for that reason any legislation needs to protect such individuals.

Comments by people concerned about unintended consequences of the bill fall into several categories:

Employment application discrimination. Even if there is a code, if the license looks anything different from a regular license, savvy employers will know there is something different, even if they don't know what it is, and would shy away from hiring a person with the code. Since this will be pulbic knowledge, it will not be hard for employers to find out about it. The disclosing of a disability before and during the hiring process, without the applicant's permission, is a direct violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Closely related to employment application discrimination is having to show ID for other reasons, and possible discrimination based on current stereotypes of autism.

Danger or discrimination for driver or person with ID. Depending on the situation, some parents have said that the ID card might make it worse for their family member who is a driver. Depending on the police officer, whether or not they have had training, whether or not they are willing to use the training when approaching someone who is Autistic, the potential for stereotyping and abuse could be worse. In some situations, it might be helpful, but many commenters agreed that keeping a disclosure card would be a preferable alternative. (More on disclosure cards below).

One person who is not at all part of the "autism world" said her initial response, if she were an officer and saw "autism" on an ID, would be to assume that the person was "like the Sandy Hook shooter and probably has guns under the seat." She apologized to me but said that was her first thought and I had asked her. I had asked her, and did not need any apology. I am trying to find out what a wide variety of people think. She said as a lay person who does not think much about autism, that's the first thing that came to mind.

Other comments included that an officer might not have time to look at a license anyway, that if someone was pulled over because of racial profiling, it would add one more stereotype to the profiling, that a non-autism related incident or accident might end up becoming "autism-related" if stereotypes of the driver or individual with identification "disclosed."

Say I get into a fender bender and it's the other person's fault. The police officer can not tell immediately whose fault it is, but gets our licenses and registrations. Then the officer scans my ID (are they going to scan them ALL? If NOT, then the ID already looks different!) Anyway, the officer scans the ID, looks at the cars, and decides it must be the Autistic person's fault because, um, they're AUTISTIC.

A concern that what is "voluntary" might become mandatory. Quite a few people pointed out that some legislation starts out as "voluntary" (and I have already pointed outr that this legislation is not voluntary for many people) becomes mandatory later on. A mandatory registry of Autistic people, whether drivers or not, would violate our privacy and discriminate against us solely on the basis of our disability. Further, since it only involves people with driver's licenses or DMV-issued IDs, it would unfairly select out those individuals who use that method of ID, perhaps prompting some sort of mandatory state registry for all Autistic people. The Commonwealth of Virginia is moving away from keeping registries of people with disabilities: 

HB 664 Blind persons; repeals requirement that DBVI maintain registry of persons in Commonwealth. 

Maryland is an example of a state that has a mandatory law regarding disabilities. Maryland law requires an applicant for a driver's license to disclose an autism diagnosis. The applicant then has to answer questions about their ability to drive. Ability to drive should be determined at the time of passing a driver's test. Maryland does NOT, please note, require that the disability be noted in any form, code or otherwise, ON the individual's driver's license. http://www.dsd.state.md.us/COMAR/getfile.aspx?file=11.17.03.02-1.htm:


Mandatory Disclosure
State and/or federal law may require disclosure of a disability, when public health or safety is an issue. One example is applying for a driver’s license with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (“MVA”). Maryland law requires a person to disclose a disability and any medication treating that disability which may affect the ability to drive when submitting an application for a driver’s license. COMAR § 11.17.03.02-1(A)(20) specifically requires an applicant for a driver’s license to disclose if he/she has been diagnosed with autism (part of a list of 20 different medical conditions). While you may be able to duck under the radar by not saying anything and hoping no one notices and asks, the subsequent liability in an accident may also result in other consequences with the state, as well as providing a potential negligence claim by the other driver. - See more at: http://www.pathfindersforautism.org/articles/view/parent_tips_disclosure_-_how_and_when_to_disclose_your_autism#sthash.XbvpnsYS.dpuf
Comparisons have been made to people with diabetes. The language of the legislation says "Current law allows the designation of a hearing or speech impairment or a condition of insulin-dependent diabetes on a person's driver's license." The comparisons do not address the concerns of stereotyping of Autistics and people with intellectual disabilities because, in general, a person with diabetes or a hearing impairment does not garner the same negative attention that a person on the autism spectrum does. Thanks to organizations such as Autism Speaks, continued negative portrayals of autism in the media abound. If a person can drive (talking just about drivers now) or needs a non-driver identification card, it is not always necessary to disclose the diagnosis. That's not why the person needs the card. In  the case of diabetes, first responders may need to know that insulin levels may be affecting the driver's ability to function. In the case of a driver's license, Autistic characteristics that would affect driving ability would preclude the person getting a license in the first place.

Mandatory Disclosure
State and/or federal law may require disclosure of a disability, when public health or safety is an issue. One example is applying for a driver’s license with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (“MVA”). Maryland law requires a person to disclose a disability and any medication treating that disability which may affect the ability to drive when submitting an application for a driver’s license. COMAR § 11.17.03.02-1(A)(20) specifically requires an applicant for a driver’s license to disclose if he/she has been diagnosed with autism (part of a list of 20 different medical conditions). While you may be able to duck under the radar by not saying anything and hoping no one notices and asks, the subsequent liability in an accident may also result in other consequences with the state, as well as providing a potential negligence claim by the other driver. - See more at: http://www.pathfindersforautism.org/articles/view/parent_tips_disclosure_-_how_and_when_to_disclose_your_autism#sthash.XbvpnsYS.dpuf
No Autistics or people with other disabilities seem to have been contacted for input during the drafting of this legislation.

A good alternative to having an autism designation on your license is  autism disclosure cards. For Autistics who don't want the "typical" disclosure card, these cards are a very good idea. Created by Lydia Brown at Autistic Hoya, they can be found at the Tool Kit of Resources from the Autistic Community: Autistic Hoya's Emergency Disclosure Cards Keep the card with your license and decide if whether or not you want to or need to disclose. With a disclosure on the license, there is no control over who gets the information, if you have  to show the license.


NEW: Facebook group for SB367. Please join and leave your comments. They will be useful for talking with legislators about this bill:  SB367Virginia Autism IDs

The full text of the bill, SB367, and its legislative history so far can be found here:

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?141+ful+SB367

 http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?141+sum+SB367

SB367 passed the Senate. It will now cross over to the House of Delegates. I will post the dates for hearings and voting once I get them.

If you would like to contact legislators, you can locate your Virginia legislator here. Others can contact Virginia legislators as well; since the people who wants this law intend to have it be national at some point, why not.

NEW: The bill is now in a House Committee on Transportation subcommittee 3. Members of the subcommittee are: Hugo (Chairman), Scott, Villanueva, Yancey, Davis, Brink, McQuinn. Emails are:           
DelTRust@house.virginia.gov (chair of House Committee on Transportation)
DelTHugo@house.virginia.gov (chair of Subcommittee 3)
DelEScott@house.virginia.gov
DelRVillanueva@house.virginia.gov
DelDYancey@house.virginia.gov
DelGDavis@house.virginia.gov
DelRBrink@house.virginia.gov
DelDMcQuinn@house.virginia.gov


Senate: Virginia Senate Members

House: Virginia House (Delegate) Members

Another article about the legislation: http://news.fredericksburg.com/newsdesk/2014/01/16/bill-aims-to-help-police-id-people-with-autism/

Articles questioning the idea of a "voluntary" autism disclosure on licenses:

The Scarlet A: Why I Don't Want My ID to Broadcast My Autism

Autism and Disclosure: Is Virginia's 'Autism' ID Card Ethical?

"The anxiety expressed by autistic adults and parents of autistic children surrounding these bills should give our legislatures pause, for they have experienced, and will continue to experience, the effects of disclosure to those who may have an inaccurate, incomplete, or mistaken understanding of what the diagnosis means." Disclosure and Privacy

Something new, but maybe needed for explanation. For those who are looking at this, thinking that "low" functioning people are going to want something different than "high" functioning people. A link to the first part of my video/interview about not being able to speak at times. And, yes, I do have degrees with summa and magna cum laude on them and am not "not so smart." I also was in the 92nd percentile the time I took the LSAT. Hire me to do legal research! I put in the degrees and "smartness" for people who will say "Oh, she can't talk at times- not smart" and again, the fact that I have some degrees and took the LSAT does not mean I don't have trouble with things like talking or finding my car in a parking lot. Non-Speaking (at Times) Autistic Provides Insight Into Communication Differences, Part I

and, why I comment on things in general. Need to protect children coming up. This is from something else but the caption says "Parent Defends Children with Autism."