Those of you who have Facebook friends in common with me will be familiar with the news going around: Cafe Press is donating 10% of all autism-related sales to Autism Speaks. You can read about it here. I heard it from Paula C. Durbin-Westby and several other friends have posted about it. The reaction I've seen has been purely negative.
I commented on Cafe Press's blog. So did some other people. Our comments seem to be awaiting moderation still. I identified myself as an autistic woman and explained, briefly, why donating to Autism Speaks was a bad idea. They call their campaign "A Voice for Autism" and the voices of autistic people are being ignored. Autism Speaks fills the function of making non-autistic people feel good about themselves for donating a quarter to those poor disabled kids, and if we disagree we are ignored or chastized.
You might wonder, what's the big deal about Autism Speaks? I've been wanting to write this piece for a while and now I don't even know where to start. I'll have to write my giant Autism Speaks post later since I don't have the time right now.
For now, I'm asking those of you reading this to write to Cafe Press and tell them how you feel about this. If you have a Cafe Press store, especially one that has "autism" in any of the product titles, let them know you don't appreciate that you can't opt out of the money being donated to causes you don't support. I will be boycotting Cafe Press until they issue an apology. Autism Speaks isn't getting a dime from me until they stop treating all autistic people like tragedies that need to be fixed by brave, loving, non-autistic people, and they stop using fear tactics, stop spreading false information, stop threatening and harassing autistic bloggers, and start managing their money correctly. Any organization that donates to Autism Speaks does not care about my patronage and is in fact supporting an organization that is openly hostile to my neurology. I boycott them. I advise you to do so as well.