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Frequently Asked Questions

What does ASAN’s proxy caller system do?

ASAN’s proxy caller system lets United States constituents who cannot call their political representatives due to disability request that a volunteer call on their behalf, on issues and positions ASAN designates in its regular action alerts.

Using an online form, you submit your email, name, and city/state/zip, the name of the Congress member you want us to call, a script you have written or adapted from the action alert for the volunteer to read to your Congress member, and any questions you would like the volunteer to ask.

The proxy caller system is run by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network.

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Can I use the proxy caller system?

Yes, if you live in the United States, have a disability impacting phone communication (including speech, hearing, processing, anxiety, etc.), and do not have access to another service that can make calls for you. You do not have to be a citizen or a registered voter; you just need to live here.

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Who can I tell the volunteer to call on my behalf?

You can request a call to either of your state Senators, or to the House member who represents your district, depending on whether the action alert is aimed at Senators, House members, or both. For more information on your elected representatives, what they do, and a couple example scripts see the Autistic Self Advocacy Network’s They Work for Us: A Self-Advocate’s Guide to Getting Through to Your Elected Officials. (PDF) 

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What issues/positions can can I request calls on?

ASAN volunteers will make calls on issues and positions in our current action alert. You can sign up to get action alerts by email. 

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How do I request a call?

  1. Check that our call request form is open. If it’s open, you can request a call. If not, you can try back later.
  2. Decide which of your Congress members you want us to call. Check the  action alert to see whether it is for Senators, House members or both. You have two Senators who represent your state, and one House member who represents your district. You can look up your Senators here and look up your House member here. Submit a separate call request for each Congress member you want us to call.
  3. Write or adapt a script for us to read to your Congress member(s) staff. The script must be on the same issue as the current action alert and consistent with ASAN’s position. You can adapt a script from the action alert.
  4. Write out any questions you want us to ask your Congress member after we read them your script. This is optional. 
  5. Fill out and submit the call request form with your name, contact information, your Congress member’s name, and your script and any questions you want us to ask your Congress member’s staff. 

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If I submit a call request, will my call definitely be made? How long will it take?

Our volunteer availability varies. We will do our best to make your call within a week of when we begin calling or when you submit the call request, but if we do not have enough volunteers available, we may not be able to. If we know an issue has a deadline, we will try to make the call before the deadline, but can’t guarantee it. 

If you include optional questions for us to ask your Congress member(s), we will only ask them if we speak directly to a staffer. If we leave them a voicemail, we will not include the questions as they won’t be able to respond.

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Will you follow up with me?

We will notify you by email:

  • If we successfully complete your call
  • If we’re unable to complete your call within a week of when our volunteers begin calling or within a week of when you submit a call request
  • If we’re unable to complete the call before the deadline for the issue has passed
  • If there’s a problem with the call.

We automatically reject call requests with threatening or abusive content, or requests that aren’t for an issue we’re currently calling on.

If you included questions for us to ask your Congress member’s office, and we complete the call and speak to someone in their office, we will let you know what their response was. 

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How often will you call on my behalf?

You can submit call requests for each appropriate Congress member on the current action alert. If the action alert is a Senate matter, you can submit call requests for both your state’s senators. If the action alert is a House matter, you can submit a call request for the House member who represents your district. If the action alert applies to both the House and the Senate, you can submit call requests for all three of your Congress members.

We will only call once per Congress member for the same action alert, and you must submit a separate form for each Congress member.  

Depending on how busy we are, we may need to close the form after we get a certain number of submissions. If you come to our site and the form is closed, you can try again the next week. 

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Who can see the information I submit? What happens to it?

Any information you submit except your email address may be passed on to your Congress member’s office. We can’t prevent your Congress member or their staff from sharing it further. For example, if you disclose undocumented immigration status in your script, we would not be able to prevent them from passing it on to ICE, if they chose to do so.

Any information you submit except your email address can also be seen by any volunteer who we ask to make your call, by the volunteer manager, or (if necessary) by the volunteer who maintains our database. Your email address can be seen by the volunteer manager and (if necessary) by the volunteer who maintains our database. ASAN staff may occasionally need to review some call requests, and if they do, they will be able to see any information you submit. Our proxy caller system is implemented in Google Docs; you can read Google’s privacy policy here.

Our volunteers are asked not to share your information with anyone else.

We may sometimes share aggregate (non-identifying) information with other people. For example, if we were to give a conference presentation about this project, we might include how many calls our volunteers made on each issue and to what Congress members. We would not share your email address or your name, or any other information that could be used to identify you personally.

In the very unlikely possibility that a court or other legal authority requires us to provide our database records, we may be forced to do so. In that case, however, we will ask the court to ensure that the information we provide is kept confidential. Although we’ll make our best efforts to safeguard your privacy from public disclosure, we can’t guarantee against inadvertent disclosure or situations in which the law requires us to provide this information to others.

After each action alert closes, we archive call requests and delete your name and email address from them. 

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Who can I contact if I have questions?

Email info@proxycaller.org.

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