When Aspergian Pride came into being in 2004, one of the main concerns in our community was the public’s lack of knowledge about autistic people. The Internet and the mass media were filled with inaccurate and often profoundly negative and harmful stereotypes. Autism awareness efforts organized by professionals and advocacy groups, however well-intentioned they might have been, often had such an alarmist tone that they did little more than perpetuate mass hysteria. As a result, the civil rights of autistic people seemed to be in serious jeopardy. Prenatal testing and eugenic abortion were openly advocated as a solution to the huge burden on society that our existence was proclaimed to be. Many of us feared that our community was at imminent risk of genocide.
It was during these difficult times that Aspergian Pride proposed a cure for the public’s ignorance to ensure that others would respect and value our diversity, instead of calling for our eradication. A forum (later replaced by a blog) highlighted accomplishments and positive experiences within our community. In addition, Aspergian Pride put together an extensive directory of pride, advocacy, and resource links, which could be freely copied for the purpose of raising public awareness of the autistic civil rights movement. Those who supported this goal were invited to join the “Cure for Ignorance Campaign” by creating a website advocating social acceptance of neurodiversity or, more simply, by adding an extra page to an existing site with a few paragraphs explaining why the site owner supported the neurodiversity movement and the civil rights of autistic people. Websites that joined this campaign would post Aspergian Pride’s list of links and would be added to the list.
Some of the websites that originally supported the campaign no longer exist and have been removed from the list. There are others that are no longer being updated. Aspergian Pride’s current resource directory includes a number of inactive sites that may have historical value for the autistic community. Not all of the sites on the list were part of the “Cure for Ignorance Campaign,” and the inclusion of any particular site on the list does not imply an endorsement of Aspergian Pride by that site.
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