The Autistic Voices Oral History Project records, collects, preserves, and makes publicly accessible the personal stories and lived experiences of Autistic people spanning a broad range of experiences, intersectional identities and perspectives.
About the Project
The Autistic Voices Oral History Project aims to provide a safe, welcoming and accessible space for Autistic individuals to share our stories, our perspectives, our struggles, and our joy. The project will increase representation of the diversity of our community, serve as a tool for self-advocacy, and create a primary source archive of Autistic voices for current and future generations. The project will create a resource for researchers, journalists, policymakers, healthcare providers, families, educators and the public to gain a better understanding of autism and the Autistic community, our history, and our experiences.
The Autistic Voices Oral History Project seeks to address the narrow lens through which autism has been understood by the public. While the project aims to capture stories across the widest possible spectrum of the Autistic experience, the project will give special attention to ensuring that the stories of people historically marginalized from dominant representations and understanding of autism are preserved. Research and diagnoses of autism have historically focused on a narrow demographic, primarily focusing on young white cis boys whose Autistic traits are externally-presenting, leaving generations of women, non-binary and trans people, people of color, and other Autistic individuals who have been socialized/forced to mask their Autistic traits, undiagnosed and without the support they could have received if identified at an early age. Media representation of Autistic people has also been incomplete or inaccurate, leading to a lack of understanding of the diversity of the Autistic community. Further, the project will center and amplify the voices of actually Autistic people, countering dominant narratives and agendas of non-Autistic-led organizations, researchers, and others advocating for a “cure” for our neurotype. By archiving the stories and lived experiences of Autistic individuals, the Autistic Voices Oral History Project hopes to provide an accurate and authentic primary source for individuals seeking to understand the Autistic experience better.
The project was created by Casey Davis, a late-identified Autistic archivist, oral historian and memory worker with over a decade of experience in the field of audiovisual preservation and access, oral history, and project management.
What We Do
The Autistic Voices Oral History Project records, collects, preserves, and makes publicly accessible the personal stories and lived experiences of autistic people spanning a broad range of experiences, intersectional identities and perspectives.
The project records interviews (video, audio or written testimonies) for long-term preservation with a trusted archival repository partner and makes interviews available online to the extent permitted by interviewees at https://autisticvoices.org.
Eventually, the project will also aggregate, curate and preserve other existing interviews and audiovisual materials (videos, podcasts, etc.) with autistic people for preservation and access.
The project will facilitate the use of the collection by the autistic community for advocacy and education, as well as by scholars, educators, journalists, policymakers, healthcare providers, our families and the public, for the purposes of research, teaching, learning, and increasing public awareness and understanding about the autistic experience.
If you are interested in being interviewed for the Autistic Voices Oral History Project, please complete this Google Form: https://forms.gle/jVcZrKSfAiUMkZ166
Please use our Contact Form to reach out with any questions, suggestions, or to let us know if you would like to get involved as a project collaborator.