Endorsed by Nichelle Nichols
Nichelle Nichols is a peerless acting talent and civil rights pioneer. She is best known for her groundbreaking role as Lieutenant Nyota Uhura on the original series of Star Trek and its related films. This included taking part in the first interracial kiss ever on network television with William Shatner, who played Captain James Tiberius Kirk.
Dr. Martin Luther King once asked to meet Nichols and said, “Yes, Ms. Nichols, I am your greatest fan.” He said, “Don’t you understand what this man [Roddenberry] has achieved? For the first time on television, we will be seen as we should be seen every day, as intelligent, quality, beautiful people who can sing and dance, yes, but who can go into space, who can be lawyers and teachers, who can be professors—who are in this day, yet you don’t see it on television until now.”
When Star Trek first was first on TV, a young African-American girl named Caryn Elaine Johnson saw Nichols as Uhura, and ran through the house exclaiming, “Mama! Everyone! Come quick! There’s a black lady on TV and she ain’t no maid!” Johnson grew up to be Whoopi Goldberg, and starred as Guinan in Star Trek: The Next Generation herself.
Nichols has also done tremendous work in furthering female and African-American presence in scientific fields, especially space exploration, and has worked with NASA on a number of occasions. The first African-American female astronaut, Mae Jemison, specifically credits Nichols with her career in spaceflight. Jemison had a guesting role on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Here at Autistic Reality, where we fight every day for diversity representation in entertainment, we view Nichelle Nichols as the epitome of that goal. We are honored and humbled to have her endorsement.
“It is a pleasure to be writing this letter of recommendation on behalf of Alec Frazier, disability advocate, pop-culture critic, and the Director of Autistic Reality. Alec and I first had the opportunity to meet in 2011, when he was an intern for the American Association of People with Disabilities’ class of that year.
“Since then, I have watched with admiration as Alec has grown his disability advocacy career, engaging in peer advocacy, mentoring, drafting policy statements, and serving on a multitude of committees. These endeavors mean a great deal to me as an individual with epilepsy who co-authored the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 when I was Majority Whip of the United States House of Representatives. More recently, Alec has branched out into pop-culture criticism and its intersection with the disability rights world. While I am aware of bigger names in the disability advocacy community and in the entertainment community, I have yet to meet someone who merges the two quite like Alec, and I was impressed when I read a copy he gave me of his book of essays, disability studies pieces, pop-culture writings, and reflections, Veni! Vidi! Autism!
“Alec has gone on to extend his reach into blogging, podcasting, and video interviews, and it was a pleasure sitting for such a video interview on the 30th anniversary of the ADA. Alec is also incredibly talented at public speaking, and excels in his ability to speak off-the-cuff about quite substantive issues, as I know full well from the time when Alec and I both delivered remarks on disability legislation outside the United States Capitol.
“Perhaps the best feature about Alec is his constant optimism and willingness to cooperate with multiple sides of the same issue. Alec radiates positive energy and creativity, which can be sorely lacking in today’s tense ideological climates.
“I recommend Alec Frazier for his policy work, his disability rights work, his pop-culture work, his journalism, his public speaking, at almost anything to which he can put his mind and energy.”
- The Honorable Tony Coelho, Former Majority Whip of the United States House of Representatives, Founder of The Coelho Center for Disability Law, Policy and Innovation, and Primary Congressional Author of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
“It is my absolute
pleasure to enthusiastically endorse and recommend Alec Frazier for any of his
professional endeavors. I have known Alec since he was in eighth grade at
Southern Hills Middle School in Boulder, Colorado. At that time, I was employed
as a teacher’s aide assigned to work with Alec to help him stay focused on his
schoolwork. Of course, while I was the supposed ‘Educator’, I learned more from
Alec than he learned from me.
“Since that time, I have stayed in touch with Alec and watched him grow from a student to a peer who I trust, respect and admire. Alec has always been brilliant, funny, compassionate, and concerned about making the world a better place for all people, especially those with autism and other disabilities. That said, he has faced many challenges throughout his life. Because of his autism and his difficulty building friendships and social relationships, he was bullied relentlessly, ostracized from social situations and settings that many of us take for granted. But he never let any of these challenges derail his relentless will-to be an advocate for positive change.
“I continue to marvel at Alec’s incredible optimism, drive, work ethic, and most importantly his accomplishments. Whether it is helping pass important legislation, advocating for several just causes, publishing books and essays, creating content, and more, Alec does it all with a passion and skill unique to him yet admirable to all.
“On a personal note, my first job in the disability advocacy/support field was to serve as Alec’s ‘para-professional’. I have since spent 20 years in the field, currently serving as the Executive Director of the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism. Had Alec not been my first student, I may be doing something else. Meeting Alec inspired me and motivated me to continue to believe in the abilities and the dignity of people with autism and other challenges. This belief has only been solidified and magnified as I have watched Alec grow into the fine young man he has become.
“The world, and the disability advocacy community, is a better place with Alec Frazier working in it. It is my pleasure to be a friend, colleague, and fan of Alec Frazier.”
- Nick Savarese, Executive Director, Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism
“I have gained a lot of positive insights and experiences - and learned a lot from Autistic Reality! Alec Frazier, the director, has been a wonderful mentor to myself and encourages many others like ourselves to keep continuing to be the best version of oneself. The example he gives others through perseverance, dedication, and honesty is the very foundation of his deep understanding, passion, and undying advocacy for the autistic community as a whole. I am honored to be friends and under Frazier’s mentoring. Autistic Reality makes a huge, positive impact on our world.”
- Liz Pritchard, Creator, Paperbag Comic, and ANCA World Ambassador
“Alec is a consultant to the FDR Memorial Legacy Committee, which is a project of the National Council on Independent Living. Alec reached out to me earlier this year to introduce himself and his interest in the FDR Memorial, FDR, and the disability community. I immediately was impressed with his knowledge, drive and good nature and asked him to join our team. He is a tremendous resource, dedicated producer of content, and delightful individual.
“Alec contributes to our education and awareness efforts in various ways. He is a meticulous photographer and thorough captioner. He is well organized, and his photos are of high quality. We proudly use them, with his permission, in our materials. Alec also contributes content to our organization through his podcast and other writings. He is a consummate networker and has conducted interviews with an impressive list of leaders and personalities in a variety of fields.
“Alec is a valued member of our team and I am
happy to provide this reference for him.”
- Mary E. Dolan, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial Legacy Committee
“Autistic Reality is an amazing firm run by an amazing man. Passionate, educated, proactive, and well-experienced in advocacy, Alec Frazier is a force to be reckoned with. I consider myself privileged to know a person like him, someone who will change the world for the better. On my last trip to Washington DC, Alec led me on a tour of the FDR Memorial. It was a wonderful experience because he pointed out details I might have missed that made the Memorial more accessible to those with disabilities – and areas where improvements could be made. He impressed me with the depth of his historical knowledge about the Roosevelts and the way the Memorial tells their story. I know he will accomplish amazing things on the FDR Memorial Legacy Committee.”
- Lissa Bryan, Historian and Author
“I first met Alec through my work as Director of the National Disability Mentoring Coalition and our meeting at a Lights! Camera! Access! Disability in Media Summit.
“Through this relationship, Alec and two of his colleagues created a long-term mentoring circle. For this creative peer mentoring model and its products, including the publication of Alec’s book, Veni! Vidi! Autism!, I was pleased to help induct Alec and his colleagues into the Class of 2018 of the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame. Alec continues to partner with the National Disability Mentoring Coalition as a Network Member and presenter. In fact, we look forward to having Alec and his colleague present in the Fall of 2020.
“Through the years I have watched Alec’s creative work expand from his early disability in media activities to an expanded capacity in training, public speaking and more recently with his pop culture reviews and podcasting efforts. It is clear to me that Alec’s passion for advocacy and creativity find blended outlets forming higher, more innovative outcomes. This is to our benefit as the consumer of his products.
“While I have less direct experience with Alec’s advocacy work, I have been impressed by his work on Capitol Hill and willingness to lead when the opportunity arises.
“I recommend your consideration of Alec’s work and commend Alec’s selflessness as he mentors others and assists them to find the success he is finding in his career.”
- Derek Shields, Director of the National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC) and President of ForwardWorks Consulting, LLC
“I am overjoyed is to recommend Alec Frazier as an exceptional candidate for employment. I have known Mr. Frazier for 8 years as his colleague, and during that time I have had many opportunities to witness his skills and character.
“Mr. Frazier has a very strong work ethic and can be counted on to consistently perform at a high level. It’s difficult to think of anyone with more zeal than Alec. He is a writer and commentator on pop culture and disability issues, he maintains his own successful consulting firm which benefits people with disabilities, he sits on the FDR Memorial Legacy Committee, and holds a master’s degree in disability studies. He happily and ably carries a workload that would normally occupy the time of two or three other professionals. In addition, he excels at communicating with clients, community outreach, disability advocacy, and public speaking.
“In my experience, Mr. Frazier has always displayed outstanding character and integrity. He is hard-working, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, compassionate, and collaborative.
“I have no reservations giving Mr. Frazier my highest recommendation.”
- Nico Meyering, Rare Disease Advocate and Self-Advocate and Public Speaker
“It was an honor to be recognized with Alec as a national mentor helping individuals impacted by a disability advance their well-being. Alec’s commitment to helping others is outstanding. Alec is also an outstanding advocate for individuals impacted by a disability and like me, he believes that every person is deserving of seeking the highest sought-after quality of life.”
- Scott Badesch, President at Badesch and Associates LLC and Long-Serving Former President of the Autism Society of America
“Alec served as an intern for the American Association of People with Disabilities in 2011. As the Chair of the Board, I was very impressed with his intellect, professionalism, and passion.