Letter to Autism BC Re: Fair and Equitable Access and Human Rights

The letter below was sent to the Board of Directors of Autism BC yesterday in light of the recent news of one of their Directors’ connection to a number of groups that have strongly advocated not only against curriculum resources designed to create more safety and inclusion for LGBTQ2S+ students, but also against the very acceptance of those students and their identities.

Unfortunately today it’s come to light that the President of Autism BC has responded with a letter that essentially states Directors are entitled to their own viewpoints and that the organization itself is ‘not political’ (see below our letter for this response given to others – we have not yet received a direct response). We appreciate the statement that their activities and programs reflect the position of inclusivity, however, we feel that human rights cannot be ignored.  The BC Government and other large organizations that partner with Autism BC may not be aware of the sentiments expressed by this Director and it is our hope that they will distance themselves from Autism BC until this Director has stepped down or is removed.

 

November 9, 2018

Board of Directors

Autism BC

3688 Cessna Dr.

Richmond, BC V7B 1C7

 

To: The Board of Directors of Autism BC:

RE: FAIR AND EQUITABLE ACCESS

As an organization of over 1500 member families, that serves the cause of Inclusive Education, we are writing to express our grave concern over the recent news that a Director of your Board, Laurie Guerra, is associated with a number of groups that have strongly advocated not only against curriculum resources designed to create more safety and inclusion for LGBTQ2S+ students, but also against the very acceptance of those students and their identities.

https://www.citynews1130.com/2018/11/08/surrey-councillors-attend-secret-anti-sogi-victory-party/

Suzanne Perreault, a member of our organization and its advisory board, has already written to you stating these concerns, most recently on July 22nd, 2018. As the issue is now a public one, we are asking that you make an immediate public statement regarding Ms. Guerra’s position at Autism BC, and most importantly, what position Autism BC as an organization takes on this issue. Sexual orientation and gender identity are not personal choices nor a political position. They are protected under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

The Disability Community and the LGBTQ2S+ community often intersect, and our members have expressed their concerns to us regarding the issue of Ms. Guerra’s affiliation with these groups and how that affiliation reflects the values of Autism BC. When working with vulnerable people and families, who are already oppressed in many ways through policies and practices, there is an even greater need for our Community Partners to protect and honour their identified needs. Transparency and accountability in this conversation are critical to the social, emotional and physical safety of many within this community.  Therefore, transparency of position becomes paramount so each member can safely move throughout this community with greater ease.

We look forward to your swift response no later than Friday, November 16th, to address the concerns of the community both of our organizations serve: families of children with disabilities.

Respectfully,

BCEdAccess

autsim bc generic response


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