How to Advocate for Autism
How can you get involved and advocate for autism? Chances are someone in your social network is on the autism spectrum and you may not be aware of the challenges they face. Most grow up with a sense of shame because they’ve been stereotyped, judged as strange, and often bullied for being different.
You can publicly advocate for autism by being part of our #Activate4Autism movement. Use your voice and social networks to speak out against bullying and speak up for acceptance and inclusion! Here are some immediate actions you can take:
Step 1 - Educate Yourself and Others
If you truly want to understand what it means to be autistic, learn about autism from those who are on the autism spectrum. Educate yourself, then go forth and spread the word with others in your network. Yes, change begins with you! Check these out:
- Understand the Spectrum - This comic by autistic illustrator, Rebecca Burgess, is one of our favorite guides to learning about what the autism spectrum means.
- Hear Our Spectrum of Voices - This comic, also by Rebecca Burgess, features autistic quotes that will change how you understand autism.
- The Penfriend Project and Zoom Autism Magazine - Dive deeper and experience autism through our autistic writers' personal narratives about life on the spectrum.
- Bluebee TeeVee - Made for children, this video series covers a range of topics about autism. It's written, filmed, and hosted by a duo on the autism spectrum. The videos and episode guides are great for starting conversations with family members, siblings and students.
Step 2 - Make a Selfie-Video
Call attention to the fear-based, uninformed, stereotypical thoughts many people have about autism and replace them with messages of hope and possibility. Make a short (10 to 15 seconds) video sharing 1 to 3 sentences about what you want people to know about the autism community, an autistic loved one, or yourself as an autistic individual.
- End your statement with "I activate my voice for autism."
- Use an #Activate4Autism poster in the video - Download Poster 1 | Download Poster 2
- Upload and share your video with your Facebook friends and use hashtag #Activate4Autism
- Don't forget to tag our Facebook Page @GeekClubBooks so we can see it and share it too.
Step 3 - Activate on Twitter
Help educate, advocate, and keep the conversation going by using your twitter influence:
- Take and post a selfie holding one of our #Activate4Autism posters - Download Poster 1 | Download Poster 2
- Make sure you always use the hashtag #Activate4Autism so your tweets will show up on our website's hashtag feed!
- Tag @GeekClubBooks so we can retweet and keep the positive autism messages spreading!
Here are some tweets to get you started:
Join our #Activate4Autism movement and use your voice to speak out against bullying @geekclubbooks - http://bit.ly/activate4autism
Add your voice to speak up for acceptance and inclusion! #Activate4Autism @geekclubbooks - http://bit.ly/activate4autism
Are you aware of the challenges autistic people face in society? #Activate4Autism @geekclubbooks - http://bit.ly/activate4autism
Be An Activator Tweets
I activate my voice for autism! Will you activate your voice too? @geekclubbooks - http://bit.ly/be-an-activator
Be an Activator! Speak up for autism acceptance @geekclubbooks - http://bit.ly/be-an-activator
Are you part of the #Activate4Autism movement? Educate, advocate for inclusion - @geekclubbooks http://bit.ly/be-an-activator
Activator Hero Tweets
Meet actors, musicians, writers, advocates and brands who #Activate4Autism @geekclubbooks - http://bit.ly/activator-heroes
We came together to #Activate4Autism to replace fear with wonder @geekclubbooks - http://bit.ly/activator-heroes
These activator heroes call for acceptance and inclusion! #Activate4Autism - http://bit.ly/activator-heroes
Autism Resources Tweets
Understand the spectrum! Download this amazing comic #Activate4Autism @geekclubbooks - http://bit.ly/understand-spectrum
What do autistics have to say about autism? Download this comic #Activate4Autism - add link
Dive deeper into the autism experience #Activate4Autism @geekclubbooks - http://bit.ly/aut-experience
Step 4 - Engage your Social Networks
- If Pinterest is your thing, email us at themightyleague [at] gmail [dot] com with a link to your Pinterest page and we'll add you as one of our #Activate4Autism Board collaborators.
- Hang out on YouTube? Then go to our channel and subscribe, comment, and give our "Activate Your Voice for Autism" videos a thumbs up!
- Like Instagram instead? Download these photos and use the hashtag #Activate4Autism Photo 1 | Photo 2 | Photo 3 or add one of these overlays on your own photo and post! Overlay 1 | Overlay 2
Step 5 - Help an Autism Nonprofit with a Facebook Fundraiser
Help autism nonprofits by using your Facebook network to raise funds. For example, people who raise funds on Facebook for our autism acceptance education and empowerment programs make a huge impact for individuals on the autism spectrum. Our nonprofit is run by volunteers so 100% of the donations go directly towards our programs. Our top priority is making sure everyone on our autistic team is paid for their work.
Here's how to set up a Facebook Fundraiser:
- Click Fundraisers in the left menu of your News Feed.
- Who are you raising money for? Click Nonprofit.
- Search for “Geek Club Books” and select as your nonprofit/charity.
- Add how much money you’d like to raise and when you want to end the fundraiser.
- Add why you want to raise money for this charity (you can use the default if you want).
- Choose a cover photo – Click here to download one you can use
- Click create.
- Use photos and videos to activate your Facebook friends to donate to your cause. (To make it easy, you can share things we post about #Activate4Autism on our Geek Club Books Facebook Page.
Step 6 - Keep Your Advocacy Going
If you want to take your advocacy even further, join the self-advocates and their allies who speak to groups in their communities—their local schools, libraries, boy and girl scout meetings, homeschool co-ops and other community forums. They are telling their personal stories, hosting events, and having conversations about autism. Use these tools to help you with your advocacy:
- What is Autism?
- What is Autism Awareness?
- Autism Glossary of Acceptable Terminology
- Autism Myths
- Autistic or Person with Autism?
- Autism Acceptance in the Classroom