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Guest post from Jodi Murphy of Geek Club Books
The #Activate4Autism Movement
The world knows about autism but they don’t really understand it. A unique nonprofit called Geek Club Books makes it their mission to engage and educate the public about autism—to replace stereotypes and fears with curiosity and wonder.
They launched an #Activate4Autism movement that brings together voice actors who are in favorite video games, cartoons and animated films, stage actors who have appeared on Broadway and London stages, children’s authors, a comic artist, a fan con, and, most importantly, autistic advocates. They’ve come together in unity to activate others to become more open and welcoming to people on the autism spectrum.
Meet a few of the Activators why they say #Activate4Autism is so important:
We must speak out for acceptance.
Television actress Kathy Kinney and The Walking Dead video game voice actor Brian Sommer boldly stepped forward (as did many others) to say that it’s no longer acceptable to marginalize autistic individuals—everyone must speak out for acceptance and inclusion for all.
It’s important to include everyone.
Mia Wenjen of Pragmatic Mom and co-founder of Multicultural Children’s Book Day activated her voice to say that “when we speak about diversity and inclusion, it’s important to include everyone in our community, and that includes those on the autism spectrum.”
See potential, not cannots.
Conner Cummings is a powerful advocate for autism. He learned to speak through his love of Disney. He wears his Mickey ears to spread Disney magic when speaking to Congress or at conferences. Conner encourages us to “appreciate autistic children and adults for who we are. See our potential, and not our cannots.”
Our world is better with a spectrum of voices.
Rebecca Burgess is a comic artist from the UK who is also a woman with autism. She created a comic, “Understand the Spectrum” for Autism Acceptance Week last year. The comic went viral as it breaks the myths and stereotypes often associated with autism. For #Activate4Autism, Rebecca created “Hear Our Spectrum of Voices” comic featuring quotes from other autistic advocates. Both are downloadable for free on the #Activate4Autism page.
Activate YOUR Voice
Chances are someone in your community or social network is on the autism spectrum. 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. If you have a loved one with autism, you know how important it is that we help the public gain a deeper understanding of the autism experience.
Watch all the actors, authors, and advocate videos over at #Activate4Autism on Geek Club Books. Then grab one of the #Activate4Autism hashtag posters and shoot a selfie-video or photo and activate your voice for autism! You’ll find everything you need on Geek Club Books “Be an Activator” page.