Going Past the Election

For those of us in the US, tomorrow is election day. Whether you’re voting or not, and no matter who you’re voting for, we are going to have representatives in office. Following the election, it is very important to speak with your local state and federal senators and representatives.

On the Federal level, Autism Speaks is pushing for legislation called Expanding the Promise for Individuals with Autism Act or EPIAA. While Autism Speaks is often thought of as an oppositional voice to adults with Autism, I feel this bill has great potential for ourselves and generations that will come after us.

The following is a summary from Autism Speaks’ Autism Votes website (http://www.autismvotes.org/):

  • The creation of a task force (with not less than 1/3 autism community membership) to report to Congress and the Executive Branch on the state of evidence-based biomedical and behavioral treatments and services for both children and adults with autism, including identifying gaps in applied research on such treatments, interventions and services.
  • Demonstration grants for the coverage of treatments, interventions and services ($20 million annually).
  • Planning and demonstration grants for services for adults with autism ($20 million annually).
  • Grants for the expansion of access to immediate post-diagnosis care ($10 million in Fiscal Year 2009, growing to $20 million by Fiscal Year 2012).
  • National training grants for the University Centers of Excellence for Developmental Disabilities for training, technical assistance and additional services for individuals with autism and their families ($13.4 million annually).
  • A Government Accountability Office (GAO) study on service provision and financing.
  • Grants to protection and advocacy systems to better meet the needs of families facing autism and other developmental disabilities, including legal representation ($6 million annually).

While these listing points are not perfect, I believe it’s a good start. Specifically, I feel the 1/3 “autism community” in the task force should comprise predominately of adults with autism. The easiest and best way to be heard is to actually talk to those people who are responsible for our nation.

Happy Voting or Non-Voting!

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