1 in 88 Can't Wait: Get Autism in the Debates

NEW YORK (October 11, 2012)-- Autism Speaks joined a social media campaign today with the nation's leading autism advocacy organizations to raise autism as an issue in the Presidential debates and as an issue that cannot be ignored in this year's elections at the national, state and local levels.

Emails were sent to all 150,000 advocates registered with the Autism Votes campaign, and messages were posted on Facebook and Twitter asking the autism community to urge the Obama and Romney campaigns "to discuss a plan for leadership on increased funding for dedicated autism research and appropriate health insurance coverage for all Americans with autism."

The campaign features a cartoon by Kyle Leahy Walsh, of Florida, a 20-year-old with autism who aspires to be a cartoonist. "It's important to my family for President Obama and Governor Romney to talk about Autism in their debates," he said.

Other autism advocacy organizations are joining with Autism Speaks to spread the word to their communities. ACT Today, Autism Action Network, Autism File, Autism Insurance in Michigan, Autism Live, Autism Research Institute, AutismSuperPac, Elizabeth Birth Center for Autism Law & Advocacy, FEAT of Kentucky, Generation Rescue, HEAL Foundation, Houston Disability Network, National Autism Association, Oregon Autism Society, SafeMinds, Talk About Curing Autism, The Canary Party, Unlocking Autism and the Utah Autism Coalition to name a few.

The early results showed the autism community was responding: 

Here's how YOU can help! It's as easy as 1-2-3:

1. Tweet this message: (Don't have a Twitter account? Create one at www.twitter.com)

"Hey @MittRomney @BarackObama Our #1in88 with #autism can't wait. Put our issues in the next debate. #AutismVotes2012 www.autismvotes.org PLS RT"

2. Visit the Obama Campaign Facebook page here and the Romney Campaign Facebook page here.

You cannot post directly to their pages, so please post this wherever you can on their Facebook page, even under a seemingly unrelated topic. The goal is for them to see thousands of posts from our community:

(President Obama/Governor Romney) - Our 1 in 88 can't wait for leadership and a plan surrounding all the issues the autism community faces today.  Please discuss autism in the next debate and let us know what you will do to help people living with autism today.

3. Send an email to the Romney Campaign here and to the Obama Campaign here by filling out their web-forms. Here is a sample message:

Our 1 in 88 can't wait! Please put autism issues in the next debate and tell us how YOU will provide leadership and a plan for our community and address autism as the urgent public health crisis it has become.

Autism was not discussed during the Vice Presidential Debate and people are already emailing us to find out what we will do next.  On Friday, we will rally, rock and repeat and press forward to the next debate on Tuesday (Oct. 16) at Hofstra University.  Tune in to Good Morning America on Monday morning (Oct. 15) and The Today Show on Tuesday to look for our advocates out in force!

Until then – Tweet, Facebook, email, repeat!