We are the New Jersey Chapter of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN). ASAN is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization run by and for Autistic people. ASAN was created to serve as a national grassroots disability rights organization for the Autistic community, and does so by advocating for systems change and ensuring that the voices of Autistic people are heard in policy debates and the halls of power while working to educate communities and improve public perceptions of autism. ASAN’s members and supporters include Autistic adults and youth, cross-disability advocates, and non-autistic family members, professionals, educators and friends.
Within the broader context of the disability rights movement, ASAN seeks to bring about more accommodation and acceptance of neurological diversity in our society. We believe that self-advocacy is essential to this process and that there must be meaningful involvement of Autistic individuals in making policy at all levels: Nothing About Us Without Us. We also work with parents and other allies who share our goals. In the interest of ensuring for everyone the rights of communication and self-determination, ASAN works to change public perceptions of autism and to dispel old myths and stereotypes that have led to discrimination and abuse.
Our activities include public policy advocacy, the development of Autistic cultural activities, and leadership training for Autistic self-advocates. We provide information about autism, disability rights, and systems change to the public through a number of different educational, cultural, and advocacy related projects. *ASAN chapter membership is open to anyone 18 years of age or older who is accepting of or open to neurodiversity. Members under the age of 18 will be considered on a case-by-case basis, with emphasis on a candidate's maturity and overall ability to participate in an ASAN chapter an on adult level.