April is the month to celebrate AWEtism!
That’s what we do here at the I CAN Network – we prove what people with Autism CAN do.
That’s why, this April, we are once again running our successful Humans on the Autism Spectrum campaign. But in 2018 we’re doing it a little differently.
This year, rather than sharing the stories of our team members (over 50% of whom are on the Spectrum), we’re asking Autistics from across Australia to share their stories and an image that they feel best represents themselves. We will feature one unique story each day on our social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, as well as our website, www.ican.network/humans/.
‘The Humans campaign fits perfectly with our mission, to prove what people with Autism CAN do.
By sharing these stories of everyday Autistics, we hope to show young people on the Spectrum that they too can overcome their challenges and achieve their dreams’, says Chris Varney, Founder and Chief Enabling Officer of I CAN Network.
We are beginning the campaign by featuring the story of Chloe, a teenager on the Spectrum who has grown to accept her diagnosis and channel it into creative passions including photography and gymnastics, both of which she has excelled in.
In the days and weeks to follow, we will hear from Autistics who have fought for their employment rights, those who are working with medical experts to educate them about Autism, and some who have struggled against negative conceptions of Autism in education. We will feature Autistics from right across the Spectrum, with both greater and lesser support requirements, to create an inclusive picture of Autism across Australia and our global network.
We invite you to follow the journey at www.www.facebook.com/theicannetwork/ or www.ican.network/humans/. We also encourage the media to get in touch with us should they wish to speak to any of the humans featured in our campaign – their Autistic voice will add real-world dimension to your inclusive reporting during Autism Awareness Month.
Danielle Kutchel, Media Manager: +61 400 147 472; [email protected]
Chris Varney, Chief Enabling Officer: +61 432 405 384; [email protected]
THREE THINGS MEDIA CAN DO TO BE MORE INCLUSIVE DURING AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH
- Include Autistic voices in your reporting – contact us to speak to experts on education, employment, government policy and more, or to connect with one of our Humans
- Use enabling language – instead of saying “high” or “low” functioning, use “greater” or “lesser” support requirements to better reflect what these people can do, and put the onus on others to provide the support that might be needed.
- Use strengths-based, respectful language – many in the Autism community do not see Autism as a deficit; rather, they see it as a source of strength. Consider the language you have used in your piece and if it contributes to this negative portrayal of Autism, think about how you can instead focus on the strengths and positives of the Spectrum.