President's Recap of the Autism Society Day on the Hill
February 26, 2013
By Scott Badesch, Autism Society President and CEO
More than 70 Autism Society affiliate leaders participated in our second annual Afternoon on the Hill last Thursday.
The purpose of the Afternoon on the Hill was to sit down and talk with Congressional staff members to discuss how the U.S. Government, in a time of fiscal constraints, can best serve the growing needs of all those living with autism. Autism Society volunteers and staff met throughout the afternoon with Congressional offices and also advocated. Members advocated for the passage of the Keeping All Students Safe Act, a bill that would prohibit restraint and seclusion in schools, and encouraged lawmakers to examine of vital changes to Community and Support Services for people living with autism. The Autism Society urges Congress to eliminate duplication of administrative processes and re-appropriate funding on an outcome-based model.
While we all know that times right now make it difficult, if not impossible, to seek more funds, the Autism Society is advocating for a reasonable response to the growing needs of individuals and families affected by autism. First, we believe we need to have a national discussion on how best to use limited dollars to effectively impact the most of people in ways that each person can maximize his or her independence, quality of life and self sufficiency.
While we hear ongoing reports of the need to reduce government spending, I would suggest we also need a national discussion on how our nation’s funding priorities are established. For example, spending close to $1.4 billion public funds on a new airport, just to reduce waiting times and congestion. But there are thousands of people living with developmental disabilities waiting years for services that will enable them to be productive, employed and maximize their quality of life. How come as a nation we don’t see the need to reduce the waiting lists for those with developmental disabilities, but do see the need to reduce the waiting time for a plane to take off from an airport?
The answer is somewhere between not having money and re-arranging our nation’s priorities.
April 10, 2013
The Autism Society, the nation’s largest and oldest grassroots autism organization, has chosen Pittsburgh as the host city of its 44th annual conference on autism spectrum disorders.
April 5, 2013
Individuals with autism can attend the Autism Society National Conference and Exposition (in Pittsburgh) for FREE this year! Learn more: www.autism-society.org/conference.
April 3, 2013
Monarch Teaching Technologies, the makers of VizZle®, web-based educational software for visual learners with autism, will give one-year of free VizZle to every new (or renewing) Champion Member during April.
April 2, 2013
Read the Autism Society’s digital magazine about autism spectrum disorders!
April 2, 2013
Today, throughout the world, individuals will come together highlighting the needs and dreams of people living with autism.