We’ve spoken before about our upcoming autism-centric event in April; we’re happy to share this press release with more information about the event. Please reach out to us if you’re interested in covering the event–contact information is listed below.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Disability in Kidlit Hosting “Autism on the Page” for Autism Awareness Month
Disability in Kidlit (disabilityinkidlit.com), a children’s literature resource, will be hosting “Autism on the Page” for Autism Awareness Month in April to showcase the perspectives of autistic people on their portrayal in popular media. Founded by authors Kody Keplinger (The Duff, now a major motion picture) and Corinne Duyvis (Otherbound), the group has been active since 2013. Disability in Kidlit is dedicated to discussing the portrayal of disability in middle grade and young adult literature. They publish articles, reviews, interviews and discussions examining this topic from various angles of the publishing industry–but always from the disabled perspective.
Many people may not be aware that there is backlash from autistic people against the majority of mainstream autism activism, which often portrays autism as an inherent tragedy and shares stories from relatives rather than the autistic people themselves. While awareness has been rising, understanding and education have not. The recent controversy over vaccines has once again put autism in the spotlight, despite no known links between them. An outlet for members of the autistic community to share their own perspectives is timelier than ever.
During April, the website will publish daily posts from autistic contributors–writers, readers, activists–discussing the importance of autistic representation in children’s literature and highlighting both positive and negative autistic portrayals. Media influences the minds of autistic children and those around them, and is crucial to forming a good (self-) understanding. Disability in Kidlit believes that a thoughtful portrayal of disability requires more than memorizing a list of symptoms; they hope that sharing disabled people’s thoughts on their day-to-day experiences, pet peeves, and existing characters will help readers learn about the realities of disability, which are often different from what we see in popular media, and will help authors improve their portrayals of disabled characters. Already, authors have taken the website’s advice to heart and added or adjusted disabled characters in their novels.
Contributors will range from Tom Angleberger, NYT bestselling author of Origami Yoda, and Corinne Duyvis and Marieke Nijkamp, authors and team members of We Need Diverse Books; to activists, journalists, and everyday high school students. Posts will include people’s own stories interspersed with articles dismantling common stereotypes, tropes, and trends, and reviews of children’s books with autistic characters, so readers should be sure to check to the website daily for new content.
Recently, the group debuted their new website at www.disabilityinkidlit.com, and they’re working on providing resources for librarians and teachers looking to diversify their book selections with quality portrayals of disability. Anyone interested in more information regarding this or other initiatives by Disability in Kidlit, interviews or press kits should send inquiries to Jessica Corra, Publicity Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.