Self-advocacy is the first-person defense of one’s rights and refers to the civil rights movement of people with disabilities, born from the wider civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s.
- People with disabilities have the right to take control of their own life, speaking for themselves, always being able to ask for the support of others.
- People with disabilities have the right to make decisions about their lives without the influence or excessive control of others.
Disabilities Studies began in the UK in the 1970s.
The EDF (European Disability Forum), which gathers organizations on disability in Europe, was born in 1996.
Autism Europe, which gathers associations on autism in Europe, was born in 1983.
In Italy, the ANGSA was born in 1985, Autismo Italia in 1998, the Asperger Group in 2003. The Fantasy Federation was born in 2008. They are family associations.
Self-advocacy in the autism spectrum has come about much more recently. Temple Grandin published his first book in 1986.
The definition of neurodiversity was formulated by the Australian Judy Singer, published in the New York Magazine in 1998. The word aspie was invented by the American Liane Holliday Willeynel 1999. In those years they were born many virtual communities and associations of people on the autism spectrum in the USA. In Italy the public testimonies of people on the spectrum began in 2006. The first self-advocates in Autism Europe arrived in 2010.
The first association managed exclusively by people on the autism spectrum in Italy is Asperger Pride, born in 2011.