The Public Policy and Autism Outlook for 2013
January 10, 2013
By Scott Badesch, Autism Society President
The Autism Society believes 2013 will be a pivotal year for its advocacy and public policy efforts. Already, we are hard at work monitoring the federal deficit discussion and funding priorities. In the early hours of January 1, Washington reached an agreement to avert the fiscal cliff, avoiding tax increases for nearly every taxpayer and immediate spending cuts to government programs. The deal renews the Bush-era tax cuts and Obama tax credits for the majority of taxpayers. A series of automatic and uniform cuts in federal spending, sequestration, has also been delayed for two months. The national discussion about the debt ceiling and spending cuts continues - but it can’t continue without our community’s voice.
The Autism Society is already in talks with the White House and key Washington lawmakers in order to ensure the needs of all individuals affected by autism are not lost in these discussions. The Autism Society continues to balance the nature of fiscal uncertainty with the needs of those affected by autism. We advocate for our community by providing recommendations for more efficient and effective funding:
1. Cut unnecessary administrative spending.
2. Eliminate duplicative services.
3. Base funding on whether a program will have measurable and positive outcomes.
4. Balance funding for research and funding for services. Thousands of people nationwide are stuck in waiting lists.
The Autism Society is continuing to work toward a country where all government programs are outcome-based and have measurable results for improving quality of life; where old rules for Medicaid coverage are re-evaluated and updated and the public and private sectors unite to ensure individuals with autism have equal access to housing and employment opportunities.
I have been in the social service system since 1977 and have seen so many dedicated professionals and service providers who know how to change a system for the better. In America, more than 1.5 million individuals are affected by autism. These individuals, their families and networks, are willing to to do what it takes to improve systems in times of fiscal uncertainty. Rest assured, the ideas and expertise of Autism Society constituents are being heard in Washington.
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.