Autistic Reality - nothingaboutuswithoutus.net
My name is Alec Frazier. I was born in Boston in 1986 and lived the first eight years of my life in Newton, Massachusetts. In 1994 my family moved to Boulder, Colorado, where I “grew up.” I performed my first public speaking engagement before Colorado Lieutenant Governor Gail Schoettler at age eight. At age thirteen, I got my first piece of legislation passed, a state constitutional amendment lifting limits on funds for special education. Sensing a need to return to familiar turf, my family and I moved to Ithaca, New York in 2004 after I had graduated high school.
I received my Associate’s from Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3), but have also taken classes at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Cornell University. I obtained my B.A. in Political Science from the University at Buffalo, and my M.A. in the Humanities-Interdisciplinary with a formal Concentration in Disability Studies, also from the University at Buffalo. As a person on the Autism Spectrum, I was a 2011 summer intern with the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the nation’s largest cross-disability organization, where I helped pass federal legislation establishing the Community Living Administration. While in Washington, I was the recipient of a standing ovation from the Honorable Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, John F. Kennedy’s last living sibling. I have since worked with the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN), VSA, the international organization on arts and disability, and the University at Buffalo’s Diversity in Disability Planning Committee (UB DDPC), the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN), Western New York Independent Living (WNYIL), the Center for Self Advocacy, and BBDO New York. I have founded an advocacy firm called Autistic Reality, and have written and copyrighted two books, Without Fear: The First Autistic Superhero and Veni! Vidi! Autism! The latter book can be found on Amazon. For this work, I have been inducted into the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame. I mentor a great number of people, including those in the AAPD summer internship class, having come full circle.
My mother Danielle is from Germany and lives in Ithaca, NY. My brother Nick is two and a half years younger than me. He’s great to hang out with, although we can occasionally get on each other’s nerves. My parents have been divorced since 2005 and my father Donald moved back to Colorado where he grew up. I keep in touch with and visit both sides of my family.
I am an honorary member of the Comic Book Club of Ithaca (CBCI), the oldest continuously operating comic book club in the USA. I have given several presentations to the club, which hosts the Ithacon comic book convention each year. I am also a founding member of Visions Comic Art Group in Buffalo in its current incarnation, and have served as its photographer and assisted with its social media. I have also helped put on the Buffalo Comicon each year in October. Since then, I have become a regular guest at comic book and literary conventions including Ithacon, Buffalo Comicon, RocCon, Central Pennsylvania Comic Con, Raven Con, the Great Philadelphia Comic Con, Wizard World Philadelphia, and New York Comic Con, and which I have spoken on disability and creativity, my creative works, and the craft of writing. As a pop-culture critic, I also interview various other guests at these shows.
If there were one overlying theme to my story, it would be to show other people with disabilities as well as their friends, family, and loved ones that it is possible to live a rich, productive, and enjoyable life! Adversity is never the end of happiness!
Because I am not only a disability rights advocate, but I am a person with disabilities myself!
I have autism and a number of other disabilities which I use as strengths in my life. Disability is not a weakness unless one lets it be so.