Press

May 2, 2017 Pittsburgh Post Gazette Op Ed by Exec Director Cori Frazer
Transplant centers must stop sending the message that people with disabilities are less worthy of life, and if they are not able to do it because it is morally right, then the Pennsylvania Legislature must let them know that continued discrimination will not be tolerated.

April 20, 2017, Observer-Reporter
The ACA’s expansion of Medicaid was a lifeline to people with disabilities, said Cori Frazer of Pittsburgh Center for Autistic Advocacy. The Republican alternative would have cut Medicaid. “For the disabled community, the ACA has not only been life-saving, but life-enabling,” Frazer said.

April 12, 2017, Pittsburgh City Paper
“When we plan a sensory-friendly event, we want to make the environment comfortable for people, like myself, who are sensitive to light, smell or sound. We alter light levels, lower volume and ask people to avoid perfume,” writes Jess Benham via email. Benham is an autistic doctoral student at the University of Pittsburgh and director of public policy with the Pittsburgh Center for Autistic Advocacy. 

April 4, 2017, Pitt News
“I want people to know that our lives aren’t tragedies and that we are worthy of human rights and community living whether or not we graduate high school or use our mouth to speak,” Frazer said. “Whether or not we have an intellectual disability, we are all worthy human beings.”

March 27, 2017, Pitt News
"Benham, the director of public policy at the Pittsburgh Center for Autistic Advocacy, opened by identifying herself as a person with disabilities including anxiety, depression and mobility impairment. She then spoke about the evil of putting disabled people into institutions, and encouraged the audience to practice their own disability advocacy."

March 10, 2017, Lifehacker
At the meeting, we heard from the Pittsburgh Center for Autistic Advocacy, which both advocates for policy changes (so, encouraging you to call your representatives about relevant laws) as well as putting on events like movie screenings that are accessible and enjoyable by people with autism.

March 2, 2017, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“The lives of people with disabilities are worthwhile, and it is our deaths — not our lives — that are the tragedy,” said Jessica Benham, of the PittsburghCenter for Autistic Advocacy, which hosted the gathering. “Tonight we are asking people to step into the shoes of victims to understand what it would be like to be killed by someone you loved and trusted.”

January 21, 2017, Letter to the Editor by Exec. Dir. Cori Frazer, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
"Our community has been fighting to end our segregation and exploitation since the beginning of the deinstitutionalization and right-to-education movements in the 1960s and '70s and continuing today as we work to make sure our people have access to the things that nondisabled people take for granted. The phaseout of sheltered workshops is a success of decades of tireless advocacy by disabled activists."

Winter 2016, Carnegie Magazine
"Having Perdziola as an advisor, as well as Jessica Benham—who is autistic, a doctoral student at Pitt, and heavily involved in Pittsburgh disability advocacy as director of public policy at the Pittsburgh Center for Autistic Advocacy—is important, says Roger Ideishi...Where The Warhol is ahead of the curve...is with young adults and adult programming. Benham, who is often asked to advise on programs within Pittsburgh, says The Warhol is a needed leader in this respect. "

May 10, 2016, PA Independent Living Radio
"Jess Hughes, Media Coordinator, Autistic Self Advocacy Network Pittsburgh, joins us for a conversation on the organization's activities, to include the Annual Disability Day of Mourning held each March. Disability Day of Mourning brings awareness to the overwhelming number of murders of 
people with disabilities by parents and caretakers in recent years."

April 1,2016, The Pitt News
"When you walk past the Cathedral of Learning Saturday night, you might notice an eerie blue glow. You might take a second look and be on your way. When you mention it in passing over lunch, you might learn it has something to do with autism. As we head into Autism Awareness Month, I urge you to go much further."

March 4, 2016, Pennsylvania Disability News
"On March 1, disability rights advocates in Pittsburgh gathered to observe Disability Day of Mourning, a day to honor the lives of people with disabilities murdered by parents and caretakers, to bring awareness to the alarming number of these tragedies in recent years, and to demand justice for all people with disabilities."

March 2, 2015, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A light skinned woman on a rollator holds a sign that reads
"Mourners grouped under a tent in a snowy Market Square on Sunday to honor the lives of disabled people murdered by their caregivers and family members. It was a part of an annual Day of Mourning that occurs across the country, organized by advocacy groups like the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network and Not Yet Dead."

February 27, 2015, Pittsburgh City Paper
"In the last five years, according to ASAN, around 70 people with disabilities have been killed by their parents; the vigil will include a reading of their names. The vigil will also feature speakers in the local disability community including Cori Frazer."

November 5, 2014, Pittsburgh City Paper
"Christopher and his family aren't alone and they're standing at the precipice of one of the country's biggest public-health problems: An unprecedented wave of people with autism are "aging out" of high school and it's uncertain what their lives will look like once supports and services are no longer guaranteed by the government."


For press inquiries, please email cori@autisticpgh.org.