What is the Campaign for Justice?
The Campaign for Justice consists of four key components: educating policymakers about the importance of legal assistance; encouraging legal aid attorneys to learn about autism; increasing individual contributions to the Campaign for Justice Gap Fund to pay for legal assistance organizations assisting indigent autistic citizens; and encouraging pro bono services that leverage legal aid resources. By expanding awareness of the importance of legal assistance for autism, the Campaign for Justice seeks to increase local and statewide legal aid resources so autistic citizens are not denied justice simply because they cannot afford an attorney.
Why a Campaign for Justice?
In a case involving a 19 year old mildly autistic man who was bullied and beaten, the lack of awareness of the prosecutor and judge had dire consequences. The young man was peppered with very fast questions by the defense counsel who knew the vulnerabilities of autism. Unable to process the questions fast enough, or formulate his answers as he’d like, this poor fellow had a meltdown, beginning to bend at the hip while in the witness chair. He ultimately hit his head so hard on the wood railing in front of him that he fractured his skull. Had the judge been watching, or the prosecutor, and neither treating this man like anyone else, this added tragedy wouldn’t have happened.
Legal help is needed now more than ever in these troubled economic times. While the safety net is shrinking, America’s most vulnerable autistic residents are facing housing crises, job losses, assault, bullying, domestic violence, elder abuse, and obstacles to health care and education. When justice is available to those who need it, society benefits from increased family stability, safer communities, and a stronger workforce.
Yet, research shows that most people do not really know what legal aid does, or how important legal aid is in making a difference in people’s lives. This Campaign for Justice seeks to change that, first by creating awareness, and second by increasing funding. When you support the Campaign for Justice, you support critical access to healthcare, safety, food, education and shelter.
Who benefits from the Campaign for Justice?
How Can You Help?
The Campaign for Justice seeks to promote awareness of the importance of legal aid for those citizens on the autism spectrum and to support additional funding for established legal aid programs. In this era of reduced resources and increased need, legal aid needs your help to support the many autistic citizens who have lost their homes, their jobs, and their healthcare. If you already give to legal aid – either your time or money – we urge you to continue to do so. If you already know about the important work of legal aid, we ask you to join the Campaign for Justice and educate others. If you do not already support legal aid, now is the time to do so. Donate to support critical legal services for those with autism.