The Oregonian: Odd Fellows leaders need to do right by autistic teen: Editorial, May 10, 2017
Ability magazine: Teen is Stripped of Visit to UN for Having Autism — Ruderman Family Foundation Calls for Action, May 7, 2017
The Oregonian: Discriminatory decision will hurt organization: Letter to the editor, May 5, 2017
The Oregonian: Tom Hallman: A trip denied to a 15-year-old boy angers readers, May 5, 2017
Winston-Salem Journal: Our view: Rejection of autistic boy is dead-wrong, May 2, 2017
The Mighty: Niko Boskovic Denied Prize Trip Because He Is on the Autism Spectrum, Family Says, May 2, 2017
Disability Scoop: Teen With Autism Disqualified From Trip, May 2, 2017
Winston-Salem Journal: Winston-Salem-based Odd Fellows faces criticism after rejecting teen with autism, May 1, 2017
United Nations Program Denies Teen With Autism’s Essay Contest Prize Due To His Disability, May 1, 2017
KOIN 6 News: Teen with autism denied trip he won to UN, May 1, 2017
KOIN 6 News: Niko Boskovic application to UNEPY, May 1, 2017
The Lars Larson Show, May 1, 2017
Daily Kos: Autistic Teen Disqualified Contest Trip to U.N., April 30, 2017
Autistic Hoya: Ableist bullshit targets nonspeaking autistics/autistics of color. Also, the sky is blue. April 29, 2017
Daily Mail: Teen who won essay contest had prize pulled ‘because he’s autistic”, April 28, 2017
KATU 2: Organization rescinds trip to NY for autistic boy who won essay contest, April 28, 2017
KGW-TV: teen with autism claims discrimination, April 28, 2017
Family: Portland teenager denied national trip because he has autism, April 28, 2017
KPAM Talk Radio: First Edition with Tim and Terry, April 28, 2017
Tom Hallman: A Portland boy who won a prestigious trip told he can’t go, April 28, 2017
I WANT TO STATE THAT FOR ME, THERE IS NO “LIGHT IT UP BLUE.” SURE, WE NEED TO DO MORE ABOUT MAKING OUR COMMUNITIES MORE ACCEPTING OF AUTISTICS, BUT NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF AUTISTIC PEOPLE’S LIVES.
THERE ARE MORE OF US THAN EVER BEFORE – WHAT TRUMP’S PROCLAMATION ADMITS IS THAT AUTISM IS A FATE WORSE THAN DEATH – THAT WE NEED TO WORK TOWARDS A FUTURE WHERE AUTISM DOESN’T EXIST.
I SAY THAT THIS IS BULLSHIT. MAYBE IT LOOKS LIKE A CURE, BUT IN ALL HONESTY, IT IS GENOCIDE. SORRY IF I THINK YOUR PROCLAMATION SUCKS.
DEAR PRESIDENT OBAMA,
I AM WRITING YOU TO SEE IF IT WOULD BE POSSIBLE TO VISIT WITH YOU THIS SUMMER. I WAS SUPPOSED TO TAKE PART IN THE UN YOUTH PILGRIMAGE THROUGH THE ODD FELLOWS LODGE, BUT THEY DECIDED THAT BECAUSE I AM AUTISTIC AND RELY ON A LETTERBOARD TO COMMUNICATE, THEY DECIDED I SHOULD NOT TAKE PART. THIS WAS INCREDIBLY DISAPPOINTING TO ME, BECAUSE I WON MY SPOT FAIR AND SQUARE. I DON’T SEE WHY SOMEONE LIKE ME SHOULD NOT BE ABLE TO TAKE PART JUST BECAUSE I COMMUNICATE DIFFERENTLY.
THE PURPOSE OF MY TRIP WAS TO VISIT THE UN IN NEW YORK CITY, SEE MONTREAL, AND VISIT OUR COUNTRY’S CAPITAL AND LEARN ABOUT HISTORY. POSSIBLY, WE WOULD HAVE STAYED A LITTLE LONGER TO SEE MY UNCLE’S FAMILY. LET’S JUST SAY THAT THE DENIAL OF MY PARTICIPATION REALLY MESSED UP THOSE PLANS.
THE VERY FACT OF MY PARTICIPATION WAS A BIG STEP IN MY EXCITING JOURNEY AS A SELF-ADVOCATE. IT WAS ONLY THREE YEARS AGO THAT I LEARNED HOW TO USE A LETTERBOARD. SINCE THAT TIME, I STARTED HIGH SCHOOL, AND A WHOLE WORLD OPENED UP TO ME. I AM LEARNING SO MANY NEW THINGS, AND REALLY, I CHANGE FOR THE BETTER EVERY CLASS I ATTEND. MY PLAN IS TO STUDY SCIENCE IN COLLEGE. PERHAPS THAT’S CRAZY, BUT I’M GOING TO TRY. ULTIMATELY, I WANT TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO ARE LOW-VERBAL OR RELY ON ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGY TO COMMUNICATE. MY LIFE IS AMAZING, AND I WOULDN’T WISH IT TO BE AN OTHER WAY THAN AUTISTIC.
REGARDING THE TRIP, MY MOM SAID SHE WOULD TAKE ME TO DC EVEN IF THE UN PEOPLE DON’T REVERSE THEIR DECISION. WITH THAT IN MIND, I WOULD APPRECIATE MEETING WITH YOU TO SHARE MY VISION OF WHAT AUTISTIC CITIZENS CAN CONTRIBUTE TO THEIR COUNTRY.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME,