Whose Planet Is It Anyway?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Power of the People

Shortly after I wrote another post on the Ransom Notes ads this afternoon, I learned that the NYU Child Study Center is withdrawing the ads in response to our protests. This victory clearly demonstrates the power of united action by concerned people standing up for decent values, as well as the strength of the disability community. Many thanks to Ari Ne'eman for his hard work and dedication, and also to everyone who took part in the campaign to demand the removal of the ads.

Here is Ari's statement:


Date: Dec 19, 2007 3:34 PM
Subject: Victory! The End of the Ransom Notes Campaign

Hello everyone,

I am pleased to inform you that this afternoon the NYU Child Study Center announced that they will be ending the "Ransom Notes" ad campaign in response to widespread public pressure from the disability community. You can read that announcement here. The thousands of people with disabilities, family members, professionals and others who have written, called, e-mailed and signed our petition have been heard. Today is a historic day for the disability community. Furthermore, having spoken directly with Dr. Harold Koplewicz, Director of the NYU Child Study Center, I have obtained a commitment to pursue real dialogue in the creation of any further ad campaign depicting individuals with disabilities. We applaud the NYU Child Study Center for hearing the voice of the disability community and withdrawing the "Ransom Notes" ad campaign.

Twenty-two disability rights organizations came together to ensure the withdrawal of this advertising campaign. Our response to this campaign stretched continents, with e-mails, letters and phone calls coming from as far away as Israel, Britain and Australia. The disability community acted with a unity and decisiveness that has rarely been heard before and we are seeing the results of our strength today. Our success sends an inescapable message: if you wish to depict people with disabilities, you must consult us and seek our approval. Anything less will guarantee that we will make our voices heard. We are willing to help anyone and any group that seeks to raise awareness of disability issues, but those efforts must be done with us, not against us. This is a victory for inclusion, for respect and for the strength and unity of people with disabilities across the world. It is that message that has carried the day in our successful response to this campaign. Furthermore, we intend to build on this progress, not only by continuing a dialogue with the NYU Child Study Center and using this momentum to ensure self-advocate representation at other institutions as well, but also by building on the broad and powerful alliance that secured the withdrawal of these ads in the first place. We are strongest when we stand together, as a community, as a culture and as a people. Thank you to all of you who have made this victory possible. Remember: "Nothing About Us, Without Us!"

Ari Ne'eman
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network, President

Labels: , , , ,


  • All this shows is that Harold Koplewicz has no balls.

    By Blogger John Best, at 6:49 PM  

  • Too little too late?
    It took Harold Koplewicz too long to realize that hurting people you want to "help" is not acceptable collateral damage. We should write these officials to thank them for pulling the ads and request that they WATCH THE KOP to make sure he doesn't try anything this dirty again to drum up business in the name of public awareness:

    Kenneth Langone, Board Chairman
    New York University Medical Center

    Martin Lipton, Board of Trustee Chairman
    New York University

    John Sexton, President
    New York University

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:56 PM  

  • foresam said:
    All this shows is that Harold Koplewicz has no balls.
    That is absolutly right. Thats the first thing to remember when fighting with loud mouth bullies. They are cowards.

    By Blogger Ed, at 9:22 PM  

  • Sure ED, call peopler names when you have nothing useful to say. The fact is, Koplewicz let his thinking be swayed by a bunch of people who think we should allow autistic kids to suffer instead of being cured. What can you expect from some second-rate New York diploma mill?

    By Blogger John Best, at 10:03 PM  

  • You have confused me now. But I certainly will try to remember in the future not to call people names when I have nothing useful to say.

    Thanks for the post ABFH. This is indeed a victory. My faith in what people with courage and the best intentions can do is renewed. :)

    By Blogger Ed, at 10:16 PM  

  • Ed,
    If Koplewicz had any courage, he'd publicize the truth about the horror of autism.

    By Blogger John Best, at 10:33 PM  

  • It is clear to me that you and this Dr. are horrified and you wish others to be as well.

    By Blogger Ed, at 10:58 PM  

  • sammy, drooopy says she's ready to be chelated now. she hates being autistic as much as you do. ms. seifer wants you to come to her place. bring a case of her favorite disposable and a bottle of ala or an iv edta. don't bring karen or the pharmaceutical antippsychotic you give sam. i think the irs is going to be auditing someone soon. (: have fun.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:08 AM  

  • Hi abfh

    Pity your comments section has been derailed by none other than our favourite golfing chelationista JB junior. Ah well.

    About this victory thing. I think my cynicism meter is in overdrive. I had this vision that speaking to the disability community really means speaking to as many sides of it as there are including the Harold Dohertys. They too are out there, even if 'out there' in my book really means campaigning for incarceration. If our Harold is as representative of the pro -incarceration crowd as I truly believe he is then he has to be a part of this dialogue too. There are many many parents like Harold. I ran into another of them on the autism speaks comment board and there's a real concentration of them among the parents who are 'friends of the JRC'.

    If Harold D ever met with Harold K it might be kind of interesting. Harold K is as one of the commenters here aptly noted, just drumming up business. He's in it for the money and tough luck for the kids. Harold D is just as self-serving. Desperation and an appalling lack of support drives the incarceration agenda most of the time but that message doesn't come across very well in Harold D's blog. However, he makes enough noise as the champion of desperate parents so he should front up to this dialogue on their behalf. It might just be the first genuine bit of advocacy he's ever done.

    By Blogger Alyric, at 8:39 AM  

  • Hi Alyric. Word has it that JBjr took his real name off his blog because he's afraid of us. I'd say that guys with glass balls shouldn't throw stones... or something like that.

    Given the fact that autism often runs in families, I think it's likely that many of the parents who support places like JRC have older relatives who were sent away to institutions 50 years ago. They don't want to believe that their parents or grandparents were evil for sending away their brother or uncle, so they've convinced themselves that autistics need to be in institutions and that those places really aren't so bad. It's a textbook case of cognitive dissonance resolution.

    By Blogger abfh, at 2:13 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home