RA of A$ Part 1 – In which I begin the Rhetorical Analysis of Autism Speaks

So, I will begin now to post parts of my rhetorical analysis of Autism $peaks (I want to spell it like that in my thesis, but I suppose that’s unscholarly).

I started my rhetorical analysis on the homepage and decided that it would be fascinating to rhetorically analyze each of the four worded sections on the banner.  In other words: Families & Adults, Research, Advocate, and Get Involved.

It is a picture of the Autism Speaks banner bar.  There are five clickable icons: on the far left is an image of a home; the second from the left says "FAMILIES & ADULTS;" the middle button says "RESEARCH;" the second button from the right says, "ADVOCATE;" and the button on the far right says, "GET INVOLVED."
It is a picture of the Autism Speaks banner bar. There are five clickable icons: on the far left is an image of a home; the second from the left says “FAMILIES & ADULTS;” the middle button says “RESEARCH;” the second button from the right says, “ADVOCATE;” and the button on the far right says, “GET INVOLVED.”

I started with “Families & Adults” because it was the first button and I was curious about who these Adults were.  Are they neurotypical or autistic adults?  After looking for a bit, I found a link called “Adult Services.”  That is the only thing with the word adult on this page.

Not content with just sitting back and thinking that the adults in the title is autistic adults, I decided to click into it and rhetorically analyze that as well.  After clicking on it, I found that there are a bunch of resources that seem like they are for autistic adults.  But again, I was not content with just assuming it was.  I clicked into “Housing and Community Living” and began reading.  Here are a few quotes from the page so far.

“Autism Speaks is trying to make this overwhelming journey easier through a series of tools to guide you through the process of establishing residential services and supports for your loved one with autism” [emphasis added] (Housing, para. 2)

So, according to this quote and who the “you” is, this document is not writing to the autistic adult, but the adult parent of the adult autistic.  As an autistic person reading this, I feel like I have been marginalized because this was obviously not written for me.

“[this toolkit is designed to] Create a structure to help families and, to the extent possible, an individual with autism, consider and plan for the types of residential services and supports needed” (Autism Speaks Housing and Residential Supports Tool Kit, para. 4)

In other words, include the autistic person if it works for you.  If not, go ahead and not include them.  The problem here is that it assumes that some autistic people cannot be included in this process, which is not true.  Even if they are “cognitively disabled” (determined because they are nonspeaking and took an IQ test), they still need to have a say in their lives.

“The results from the survey clearly indicate there must be greater awareness and better education of families of individuals with autism regarding the steps to take at an early age to ensure access to housing and residential supports for when they reach adulthood (Autism Speaks Announces Results of National Housing Survey!, para. 1)

I’m actually gonna do a separate rhetorical analysis of these survey results in another post tomorrow.

That’s all that I could find on this particular page on Autism Speaks.  The goal that I have regarding these posts is to find a common similarity or thing that I can write about in my thesis.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: