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White House Author

Dilshad D. Ali

Dilshad D. Ali has been working in the field of autism and disability advocacy for nearly ten years. Through her work as an advocate with the Virginia Autism Project, she helped facilitate the passage of landmark autism insurance legislation. She is also on the advisory board for Enabled Muslim and MUHSEN, the first ever disability advocacy organizations focused on creating programs of inclusion, mentoring, and resource-sharing in the American Muslim community. Ali serves on the Faith Advisory Council for the Autism Society of America, which is working to create literature for advising houses of worship on creating an inclusionary atmosphere for special needs congregants. Five years ago she began chronicling her son’s and family’s autism journey in her blog, “Muslimah Next Door.” By the sharing of her son’s personal struggles and triumphs, she has sought to dismantle stereotypes that often relegate individuals with special needs to a hidden or “less than” status in her faith and cultural communities.