Autism Society Applauds Legislation to Ensure Meaningful Transitions to Adulthood
February 11, 2011
By Amanda Glensky
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Amanda Glensky, Media Specialist
301-657-0881 x 9015
Bills introduced in the House of Representatives focus on education, employment and empowerment of people with disabilities heading into adulthood
Bethesda, MD (February 11, 2011) – Yesterday Representative Gregg Harper (R-MS) and Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) introduced a comprehensive package of legislation that would provide vital support to individuals with autism and significant disabilities who are transitioning out of the school system and into adult employment and independent living. The Transitioning towards Excellence & Achievement in Mobility Act, or TEAM Act of 2011, is a coordinated trio of 3 bills that realigns the goals of the federal government to support individuals as they are afforded the right to work and live in their communities.
“Individuals with autism can be self-sufficient and they can hold meaningful employment in integrated settings given the proper supports and services,” Autism Society President and CEO Lee Grossman said. “The Autism Society thanks Representative Harper for introducing a bill that would help to maintain people with autism are afforded their right to live and work in their communities.”
Students with intellectual and developmental disabilities often leave high school unprepared and without the supports in place to find and maintain employment or pursue secondary education. While the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) requires schools to provide transitional services for students through high school, there is no enforcement, monitoring or evaluations making sure they are effective. Instead, students leave the school system unprepared for adulthood, often lacking the guidance and skills to search for a job with a salary to support a self-sufficient lifestyle.
The TEAM Act has been presented in three pieces, the TEAM-Education, TEAM-Employment and TEAM-Empowerment acts, which would work to change how transitional systems serve students with significant disabilities. The Autism Society believes these bills would facilitate better outcomes for students with autism by coordinating federal and state systems, encouraging accountability of government agencies, and setting high goals and standards for students so they can reach their full potential.
Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disability that typically appears during the first two years of life and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum disorder” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause for autism, but increased awareness and funding can help families today.
About the Autism Society
The Autism Society, the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism. We do this by increasing public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the spectrum, advocating for appropriate services for individuals across the lifespan, and providing the latest information regarding treatment, education, research and advocacy. For more information, visit www.autism-society.org.
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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.
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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.
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Today, throughout the world, individuals will come together highlighting the needs and dreams of people living with autism.