Ari Ne'eman Appointed to the National Council on Disability
Good News for the Autism community, and for the cross disability movement as a whole. Ari Ne'eman has been announced as one of President Obama's latest Presidential Appointees. He is currently awaiting confirmation by the senate for a position on the National Council on Disability. You can read the press release on the White House website here, as well as the names and Bios of other Appointees.
This is a big step forward for the Autism Community, particularly (but not exclusively) for the Neurodiversity movement. Ari has been pushing for the needs- and rights- of the Autistic community for years, and to have him appointed to the NCD is certainly the next move in his unrelenting efforts to promote our cause. He has also been involved in cross-disability efforts, an important thing to keep in mind.
There are a couple of pieces about him worth reading if you want some background from someone who isn't a Blogger. The UMBC article has a lot of information about his childhood and how he got into advocacy, and he has been featured as a leading Autism Advocate in such publications as Newsweek Magazine and New York Magazine.
I have contacted my Senators and President Obama to let them know how pleased I am about this appointment:
I would like to let you know how pleased I am with President Obama's recent Nomination of Ari Ne'eman to the National Council on Disability.
Mr. Ne'eman has worked tirelessly to make sure that the interests of individuals of all ages across the Autism Spectrum, be it Employment Issues for higher functioning Individuals, Access to AAC Devices for those who are non-verbal, or even in assuring that the lower functioning individuals on the Autism Spectrum are safe from care giver abuse and have access to community based services. His work promoting the causes of the Cross-disability community helps all disabled Americans fight prejudice and give back to their communities.
I am proud to have his voice as the one that is representing my needs as a Disabled American, and look forward to his confirmation, as well as all the work he will do on the NCD. I also look forward to his working along side you all to protect the interests of all Americans though these efforts.
I would like to encourage you all to write similar letters of support; Congress.org is a useful tool for this, but if you don't want to register, you can look up your Senators and their contact info on this page of the Senate.gov site. If you want to thank the president, you can do so either through the above mentioned Congress.org or on the White House website, here.
Ari is not only an openly Autistic appointee, he's also the youngest in US history- the previous holder of that title was Mike Lopez at the age of 24. But his experience in disability advocacy is larger than some people ten years his senior- just look at the mini-bio in the Press release, and realize that it is a MINI bio. He just spent this past summer in an internship in DC, and has been very active- both quietly and in the press- over the last several years, all while also being a full time student. With his graduation coming up in the spring, I am looking forward to seeing what he'll achieve next.
Original Post: Cracked Mirror in Shalott
Posted in:on December 20, 2009 at 4:22am