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Kevin Healey (autism activist)

Kevin Healey (born 27 May 1974) is an autism activist. He also campaigns against bullying.

Kevin Healey
Kevin Healey (autism activist).jpg
Born (1974-05-27) 27 May 1974 (age 45)
Websitekevinhealey.net

Autism activismEdit

In 2001, Healey founded the North Staffordshire Asperger's & Autism Association (NSAAA).[1] In 2007, Healey founded the Staffordshire Adults Autistic Society (SAAS), which provides support to adults with autism including activities such as outings as well as educational programs and a helpline.[2][3] In 2010, he launched a campaign entitled "It's Time For Change — Stand-up For Autism" which aimed to improve government response to the needs of people with autism and their families in the UK. This campaign attracted support from both members of Parliament and the public, and Healey delivered a petition to the Prime Minister's office signed by 4,000 people in favour of such expanded services and funding.[4] He was also a trustee for the National Autistic Society, which is the largest autism charity in the UK.[5][6]

Healey published an autobiography, Twin Brothers Worlds Apart, in 2009, sales of which benefit SAAS, his autism charity.[3] This book has been adapted for a short film that was released under the same title in 2017.[7] In 2014, he released a short documentary about cyber-bullying.[8] He hosted his own show on Blog Talk Radio but stopped broadcasting in 2011,[9] and he also founded internet-based Autism Radio UK.[4][10]

Anti-bullying campaignEdit

Healey initiated a global anti-bullying campaign in 2014, which is supported by Ricky Gervais, Katie Price, and Keith Duffy.[11][12] Healey has been the victim of cyberbullying and harassment on Twitter due to his activism.[13] This bullying included not only online harassment and cloning (impersonation) of his Twitter account,[6] but also threats to "sever [his] legs"[1] or kill him. Taking into consideration the information that some of those bullying him had learned what neighbourhood he lived in, Healey found those threats credible enough that he did not leave his home for three months.[1] Police investigated both the threats and over a dozen cases of impersonation.[6] Healey's experiences motivated him to raise awareness about cyberbullying and online harassment of those with autism.[14] He advocates for making the bullying of a person with a developmental disability a crime.[1][15][16]

RecognitionEdit

Healey had won awards including a British Citizen Award for Volunteering and Charitable Giving in 2017,[17] Stoke-On-Trent Citizen of the Year in 2006 and Charity Champion of the year in 2007.[citation needed] He was selected to carry the Olympic torch in Crewe on 31 May 2012.[10] A charity Healey founded, Staffordshire Adults Autistic Society (SAAS), was one of 112 groups that received the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in 2012.[2]

Personal lifeEdit

He has a twin brother, Shaun, who also has autism, but is non-verbal.[3][10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Ault, Richard (8 June 2015). "Autism campaigner Kevin Healey: 'Hate crimes aren't taken seriously enough'". The Sentinel. Archived from the original on 15 July 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Group reaches out to adults who are living with autism". The Sentinel. 21 July 2012. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Brown, Robert (24 March 2010). "Autism campaigner Kevin Healey seeks to make film". BBC News. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  4. ^ a b Walker, Adam (7 October 2010). "Staffordshire autism campaign to meet PM in London". BBC News. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Board of Trustees". Autism.org. National Autistic Society. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  6. ^ a b c Grant, Katie (20 February 2015). "Twitter 'failing in its moral duty' to protect users from abuse, says leading autism campaigner". The Independent. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  7. ^ "Autism awareness film gets the red carpet treatment". ITV Central News. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Cyber bullying highlighted in new film". itv.com. 22 January 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  9. ^ "Kevin Healey Autism Show Online Radio". BlogTalkRadio. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  10. ^ a b c "Autism campaigner to carry Olympic Torch in Crewe". The Nantwich News. 24 May 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  11. ^ "Autism and bullying with Kevin Healey". Talk About Autism. 14 August 2013. Archived from the original on 6 February 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  12. ^ "Q & A: Autism and bullying with Kevin Healey, author and autism campaigner". Ambitious About Autism. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
  13. ^ Worgan, Jo (31 December 2013). "Kevin Healey Leading Autism Campaigner Launches Online Petition for Twitter Verification". Autism Daily Newscast. Archived from the original on 18 April 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  14. ^ Worgan, Jo (18 January 2014). "Kevin Healey and his Anti Bullying Autism Campaign". Autism Daily Newscast. Archived from the original on 6 February 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  15. ^ Chow, Michelle (22 January 2014). "Autism sufferer Kevin Healey appears on Sky News to talk about cyber bullying". The Sentinel. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  16. ^ "Internet trolls targeted with new legal guidelines". BBC. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  17. ^ "British Citizen Awards". Retrieved 23 June 2017.

External linksEdit