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CANADIAN GOVERNMENT DENIES EXISTENCE
OF AUTISTIC VOICES:
1 Mar 2004
The Hon. Liza Frulla
The following is the response of
your ministry to my concerns about the eligibility of Autism Society Canada
(ASC) for funding:
Dear Ms. Dawson:
|In response, I want to underline
the sole rationale your ministry has, since October of last year, offered
for its continued support and funding of ASC:
ASC is governed by parents and caregivers of people with autism as most individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are either minors or are people who, due to their disability, are unable to speak for themselves, nor function within the social structure of a typical organization. Therefore, this classifies the organization as consumer-focused.Minister Frulla, you must now answer to autistic persons in Canada and around the world who have dedicated our lives and our work to eradicating such blatant statements, now issued in the name of the Canadian government, of ignorance and prejudice.
You are responsible for holding Ms Tunis severely accountable for denying the very existence of the voices of those she is charged with assisting. Ms Tunis, as Director General for the Office for Disability Issues is, in the area of autism, presiding over an Office for Disseminating Intolerance. She is propagating as fact statements about autistic persons which are false, defamatory, and illegal. Her statements about autistic persons and her commensurate practices are in violation of the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Minister Frulla, do the statements and practices of the person in charge of disability issues in your ministry, and in fact in your government, also reflect your government's hiring practices?
Further, you are responsible for locating the source of this damaging and destructive information. What led your ministry to make decisions on the basis of such a grotesque misrepresentation of all autistic persons?
This misrepresentation strikes me as immediately familiar. It is an exact replica of ASC's position about the worth of autistic persons and our place in society.
Clearly, Minister Frulla, you are not just funding human rights violations. You are committing them.
I expect an immediate written apology from yourself.
A credible apology must include evidence that this flagrant injustice is being rectified. Those in your ministry responsible for denigrating and excluding autistics must be held accountable. All decisions made about the funding of ASC must then be reviewed by persons free of the reprehensible prejudices against autistic persons now evident in your ministry.
Thank you for your time.
|This letter was received and signed for by Minister Frulla's office on the morning of 2 March 2004.|
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