Autism Speaks Premieres Inspiring Documentary on YouTube

Occasionally, we invite special guests to share their thoughts on the YouTube Blog. This guest post is from Autism Speaks about a documentary they are premiering on YouTube. The film was previously only available at small regional screenings and will now be available to viewers across the globe. 

Today we’re announcing the online premiere of "I Want to Say," a documentary short about technology and hope. It tells the story of how technology is making a difference in the lives of some people who need it most: children with autism.

This documentary is part of our Hacking Autism initiative to facilitate and accelerate technology-based ideas to help give those with autism a voice. Technology is radically remaking the world of autism. It is creating opportunities for those with autism to find their passion, develop their skills and eventually compete for jobs.

Autism Speaks is supporting the development of therapies and assistive technologies by promoting collaboration among designers, engineers, scientists, and individuals and families affected by autism.

We wanted to premiere this documentary on YouTube to show the world the power of technology for people with autism. Our hope is that you find "I Want to Say" as compelling and powerful as we do.

Alison Dyer, Social Marketing Manager at Autism Speaks, recently watched “How to BEND light !!

A new human rights channel on YouTube

From its inception, YouTube has been a platform for free expression. Activists around the world use YouTube to document causes they care about and make them known to the world. In the case of human rights, video plays a particularly important role in illuminating what occurs when governments and individuals in power abuse their positions. We’ve seen this play out on a global stage during the Arab Spring, for example: during the height of the activity, 100,000 videos were uploaded from Egypt, a 70% increase on the preceding three months. And we’ve seen it play out in specific, local cases with issues like police brutality, discrimination, elder abuse, gender-based violence, socio-economic justice, access to basic resources, and bullying.

That’s why our non-profit partner WITNESS, a global leader in the use of video for human rights, and Storyful, a social newsgathering operation, are joining forces to launch a new Human Rights channel on YouTube, dedicated to curating hours of raw citizen-video documenting human rights stories that are uploaded daily and distributing that to audiences hungry to learn and take action. The channel, which will also feature content from a slate of human rights organizations already sharing their work on YouTube, aims to shed light on and contextualize under-reported stories, to record otherwise undocumented abuses, and to amplify previously unheard voices. The project was announced today at the Internet at Liberty conference, and will live at Storyful will source and verify the videos, and WITNESS will ensure the channel features a balanced breadth of issues with the context viewers need to understand the rights issue involved.

We hope this project can not only be a catalyst to awareness, but offer people new avenues for action and impact. The channel is committed to providing new citizen creators as well as viewers with the tools and information necessary so that every citizen can become a more effective human rights defender. It will also be available on Google+, where the broader human rights community can take part in discussions, share material, and find collaborators.

We welcome your feedback and thoughts on the channel, and if you want to suggest a video for inclusion, email the YouTube URL to Please include any and all details around the time, place, and context of the video. Also, be sure to take the time to learn how to protect yourself and your subjects if you’re the one behind the camera.

Sam Gregory, WITNESS Program Director, and Olivia Ma, YouTube news manager, recently watched “Citizen Watch May 2012."

A mid-Movember check-in

It’s that time of year...when the trees turn, the leaves fall, and stubble grows to full-fledged 'stache. In honor of Movember, an international mustache growing fundraiser, YouTubers worldwide are “mo”-bilizing to fight prostate and other men’s cancers.

Hundreds of Movember videos are being uploaded every day, with over 1500 every week. In case you’re lacking inspiration or you’re starting to question whether fighting prostate cancer is worth the daily stares directed at your Fu Manchu, the YouTube community has your tips, musical tributes, and vlogs.

For what NOT to do with your stache this Movember season:

If you’re unable to grow facial hair, you can raise awareness for prostate cancer by painting your nails with mini handlebar staches:

Looking for ‘mo’ style tips? Check out this musical tribute to history’s best mustaches:

And you can check out vloggers all around the world chronicling their stache growth:

Don’t forget to check out the official Movember YouTube channel or for more information on how you can raise awareness and funds for the fight against men’s cancer.

Jessica Mason, Communications Associate, recently watched, "Mo Sistas Unite."