Sunday, August 21, 2011


Frequently Asked Questions about Autistics Speaking Day

Q.  What do we do on ASDay?
A.  The plan is that on November 1st social networking sites like Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, as well as YouTube and  blogging sites will see a huge increase in the posts of autistic people.  We will post links to as many of these as we can to share the works of the autistic people.  Our hope is that this will help promote autism awareness and autism acceptance.  If you are a blogger or own a website, you can write a post on or around November 1st for Autistics Speaking Day and we will share the posts through this blog, Twitter, and Facebook.  Everyone is free to participate in ASDay however they want.  Some will just read through the posts, some will help to distribute the posts, and some will actively write them.

Q.  Why was ASDay created, and by who?
A.  This post by Corina Becker is what sparked the creation of Autistics Speaking Day.  It was promoted by Kathryn Bjornstad on Facebook as well.  Corina and Kathryn are both autistic adults.

Q.  Where does ASDay happen?
A.  ASDay happens wherever you are.  It's a global event that will take place mostly online, although last year there was at least one physical event related to ASDay.

Q.  I'm busy on November 1st or I live in a different time zone than the creators of ASDay.  Can I still participate?
A.  You absolutely can.  Last year people were posting blog posts and comments several days before November 1st and the event continued on for even longer.  It doesn't matter whether you live in the same time zone as most of the participants, and you can join in the fun on October 31st or November 2nd, as many did last year.  Last year we had participants from all over the world and time zone was not an issue.

Q.  I want something I wrote to be promoted on Autistics Speaking Day.  Who should I talk to?
A.  If you plan to or have written a piece for ASDay, send it to Kathryn Bjornstad at or through a private message on Facebook.  She will make sure it is included in the list.

Q.  What are the rules for participants?
A.  Participants are invited to write whatever they wish.  We ask that people posting on this blog or on our Facebook pages avoid harsh language and fighting and try to be accepting of differing views.

Q.  What are the rules for posting comments on the ASDay blogs and/or Facebook pages?
A.  Language that is threatening or bullying will not be tolerated.  Posts discriminating against people based on ability status, race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religion will not be tolerated.  But please understand that tempers may flare and fights may happen, and unless it falls into one of these categories we will be unable to moderate.  If you feel that you have seen an example of bullying, please let us know.

Q.  I am a supporter of (neurodiversity/vaccination/nonvaccination/a cure for autism/a specific autism-related organization or figure/ect).  Can I still participate in ASDay?
A.  ASDay is not only for people of certain political views.  Everyone is welcome.

Q.  Is ASDay only for autistic people, or can non-autistic people participate as well?
A.  Anyone can participate in ASDay, regardless of their ability status.  We especially want to encourage autistic people to speak out but non-autistic parents, relatives, and friends of autistic people and professionals are welcome as well.  We plan to list the posts under two separate categories, one list for autistic people and another for our non-autistic allies.

Q.  I know ASDay was created to protest Communication Shutdown.  I am participating in Communication Shutdown.  Is it still okay for me to participate in ASDay?
A.  Of course.  Some people participated in both Communication Shutdown and ASDay in 2010 without a problem.  Many people who participated in both events were active the day before and/or after ASDay.

Q.  Why are you protesting Communication Shutdown?  They're just trying to help!
A.  We don't deny that the participants in Communication Shutdown meant well, but autistic people protested over various different things--their motives, their methods, what they saw as the silencing of autistic people, the comparison between autistic people and people who don't have Facebook accounts, the lack of knowledge of Facebook's usefulness to autistic people, the lack of focus on the voices of autistic people, and even the organizations Communication Shutdown was partnered with.  But now ASDay is about more than protesting Communication Shutdown.  It is about autistic people raising their voices and non-autistic people listening, and many feel that the event has been helpful to them in some way.

If you have a question that we haven't answered yet, please e-mail Kathryn at kmbjornstad and we will try to add it to the list.


  1. FYI, the site layout of this page bothers my sensory issues. I have trouble reading a light-colored font against a dark-colored background without considerable effort and struggle. I know there are others who feel similarly as well.

    Blessings and peace,

  2. Hi Lydia, thanks for the input.

    I realize there are sensory issues with the layout. I'm still working it out.

    From your own experiences, what would be a better background-text combination? I want to make this as accessible as possible.


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