Introducing… Stay Safe & Self Advocate

introducing-stay-safe-self-advocate

Introducing… Stay Safe & Self Advocate

STAY SAFE & SELF ADVOCATE!

Helping the autism community in Nebraska stay healthy during COVID-19 and build health-related self-advocacy skills during this crucial time and beyond


Autism Society launches COVID health and
self-advocacy campaign for autism
community

LINCOLN — After months of working with the finest minds in medicine, psychology, and the
autism world in Nebraska and beyond, Autism Society of Nebraska is pleased to announce the
launch of the Stay Safe and Self Advocate website.

The site, which includes multiple strains of rich educational content, was created to help keep
Nebraska’s autism community safe and healthy during this crucial time in the COVID-19
pandemic.

The site was supported by funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security
Act (CARES Act) from the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Nebraska Department of
Health and Human Services, CFDA Number 21.019.

This website was created over the last few months as the cornerstone of an educational
campaign titled Stay Safe & Self Advocate. This campaign will be driven through email and
direct mail, engaging agencies across Nebraska that serve people of ALL AGES on the autism
spectrum. Through this website and adjacent campaign, we are seeking to EMPOWER people
to stay safe during this challenging time, BUILD self-advocacy skills, and BRIDGE
communication gaps between Nebraskans on the autism spectrum and healthcare
professionals during this crucial time.

Made by Nebraskans for Nebraskans, using the well-researched Behavior Skills Model of
pedagogy to impart urgently necessary “how-to” information to stay safe during a pandemic,
navigate a healthcare system that is designed for and by neurotypical people, and advocate for
one’s own mental health needs during this time.

Unlike most other publicly available autism-related website and video collections, this content
has been created with people on the autism spectrum as the primary intended audience.

Woefully few websites and videos are created with people on the spectrum as the end user.
ASN noticed this unfortunate trend and wanted to address it.

Caregivers and family members of people of all ages on the autism spectrum are the
secondary intended audience. The site also includes an “open letter” to Nebraska’s healthcare
professionals, which addresses potential communication gaps between people on the
spectrum and medical workers at all levels.

The goals of the Stay Safe and Self Advocate campaign are:
• EMPOWER people to stay safe during this challenging time
• BUILD health-related self-advocacy skills among people on the autism spectrum
• BRIDGE communication gaps between Nebraskans on the autism spectrum and
healthcare professionals during this crucial time.

The campaign will also include activity on social media and direct conversations with
healthcare facilities and agencies serving people on the autism spectrum throughout
Nebraska, including organizations in Omaha, Lincoln, Grand Island, Kearney, North Platte,
Hastings, Norfolk, Columbus, Fremont, Scottsbluff, and Valentine.

For more information about this project, please contact Autism Society of Nebraska at
autismsociety@autismnebraska.org.

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Autism Society of Nebraska is a 501c3 nonprofit organization established in Nebraska in 1971.
Our mission is to improve the lives of Nebraskans affected by autism through advocacy,
education, information and referral services, and community-building support networks across
the state. Autism Society of Nebraska does not receive any funding from Autism Society of
America and does not fund activities outside of Nebraska.
Contact: Kevin Mahler, kevin.mahler@autismnebraska.org; 402.216.8766

Visit Stay Safe and Self Advocate site.