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 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. 



Vlad Drăculea said...

Shame on you, Google! I'd thought better of you, but I was wrong! I'm glad my neurodivergent friend doesn't work for you anymore. How do you think your many neurodivergent employees feel when they see this is what you're doing?

BiolArtist said...

The neurodivergent Google employees probably congratulate themselves on Aspie Superiority or at least being so high-functioning they don't need a cure.

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