Autism Network International (ANI), the first advocacy organization to be created and run by and for Autistic people, was founded in the early 1990s, and continues to run the annual Autreat conference.


ANI was founded by several Autistic people who met each other through communicating on mailing lists for parents of autistic children and, later, in-person at autism conferences. ANI’s philosophy is that supports for autistics should be about making the world more accommodating and giving autistics skills to navigate a world not build around their needs, rather than trying to cure autistics, make autistic people more like neurotypicals, or segregate or isolate autistics from the rest of the world. ANI runs the annual Autreat conference, which is a retreat-style conference for Autistics and allies. ANI also works to both empower autistics who can advocate independently and improve the lives of those who cannot participate directly.

-List of related media/links

-List of concrete examples

  • Usage example: “Every year, many Autistic youth participate in the ANI-sponsored ceremony Autreat’s Amazing Annual Adulthood Acclamation to celebrate coming of age into the Autistic community.”

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