An Interview with Alec Frazier of Autistic Reality
My lovely friend, Amber L. Johnson, just published Puddle Jumping. You may have noticed the endorsement at the end of the book by Alec Frazier. He's a member of Autistic Reality. Here's an interview she conducted with him:
An Interview with Alec Frazier of Autistic Reality
Alec, thanks so much for agreeing to do this interview with me. I’ll try not to use too many exclamation points and taaaaaaalk liiiiiiiiiike thiiiiiiiiis!!!!
Ha ha! Okay! Let’s go!
You and I met through our mutual love of exploding panties then formed a bond over fat guys with axes in the original version of Puddle Jumping. And now you’ve given the final product an endorsement by your firm, Autistic Reality -that’s a huge deal for me, so thank you.
First question: What drove you to start your advocacy and public relations firm?
I have been involved in advocacy of one form or another since third grade. When I was in eighth grade, I helped get a constitutional amendment passed in Colorado increasing the amount of funding for education, including education of people with disabilities. As I became more involved with politics, I realized that I was very much excited about bringing real policy changed the table. In 2011, I was an intern for the American Association of People with Disabilities. During that time, myself and a few others spoke to Sen. Chuck Schumer’s staff about establishing a government agency to work with the independent living movement. The very next day, the senator introduced the bill to do that. The bill was passed into law. In learning that, I was learning that I had the power, and that everybody has the power, to change this world for the better. Everyone reading this interview has that power!
What do you feel has been your greatest accomplishment with AR so far?
Since Autistic Reality is a reasonably recent endeavor, I only have a few options to choose from. By far, the most rewarding thing I have so far is give a keynote address to over 100 people in Auburn New York. It was tremendous to get such wonderful feedback from my speech!
What do you look forward to doing in the future?
Autistic Reality is very much looking forward to more photography opportunities, more public speaking opportunities, and whatever comes our way. For example, we just got a request from the people we gave her keynote address for to speak at their staff training day. We are very excited to do so! It should be noted that Autistic Reality does way more than just disability advocacy. We also do photography, event management, social networking, public speaking, and lobbying. For a full overview of our services, you can find us online at www.nothingaboutuswithoutus.net
And lastly, you and I had many conversations over the phone, Facebook and email about Puddle Jumping. You were one of the people who pushed me the hardest to get this book to print (which I am so grateful for). I appreciate that your blog endorsement of the book states that the Spectrum is so wide that no two people are the same and that Autism does not define a person. You helped me immensely with keeping my eyes and mind open to a lot of things that I have and have not experienced yet. What made you want to give your stamp of approval on the book?
The answer is threefold. First of all, by giving my stamp of approval on the book, it shows that you have the approval of someone who has actually gone through many of the same things that Colton has. Secondly, it helps promote my brand with many people who may otherwise not hear about it. Finally, you had received harsh criticism from a number of bullies who said that you did not make a realistic depiction of autism in your book. I hate bullies, and I want to make it clear that your depiction of autism is actually quite accurate. For more on that, see my blog posting at http://ithacan-alwaysintrepid.blogspot.com/2014/06/i-am-proud-of-puddle-jumping-by-alec.html
Bonus lightning round questions (Tell Lilly to get off the slide!)
Favorite song on the radio right now?
Tacky, by Weird Al Yankovic. I never really got into Happy, but Weird Al’s parody is right up my alley!
Amber: Oddly enough, this video made me happier than the Happy video. Huh.
Robert Pattinson or Logan Lerman?
While I really love what you have was Logan’s image [ for Colton in Puddle Jumping ], Robert Pattinson is the hottest guy I can ever imagine!
Amber: I’ll accept this answer. *shifts on chair and pretends she only had this picture on file for this specific blog*
Favorite food you’re not supposed to have but you eat it anyway because you are a REBEL?
I really love having a rack of ribs! Yet since my stroke, I’ve only had them once because they are very bad for my blood pressure.
Amber: I’m not going to post a picture of meat here. It would be cruel to BOTH of us. :/
Wombats or manatees?
Most definitely wombats! They are my totem animal, the animal that embodies me the best!
Amber: My spirit animal is Grumpy Cat. Tardar is going to lead me through the Heavenly Gates one day and she’ll say, “Eh. It’s alright. If you like this kind of thing.”
And the most important question of all:
Nikki Minaj or Iggy Azalea?
I absolutely hate Nikki Minaj, and have no clue who Iggy Azalea is! So by a process of exclusion, I am going to have to choose Iggy Azalea.
Amber: This is the only acceptable answer.
*Thanks so much to Alec for answering my silly questions. Click the links above and give his pages a like or leave a comment on his blog posts.*