We Must Continue to Advocate and Educate After the Election
November 8, 2012
By Scott Badesch, Autism Society President
Yesterday, we celebrated one of our nation’s greatest components of democracy when millions went into an election booth to choose their elected officials.
Now that the elections are over, the difficult work will begin. During the next few months, decisions will be made that will affect individuals with autism and their families. As a community of autism advocates, it is our jobs to ensure our representatives understand the impact certain decisions will have on our families.
As a community, we must be prepared to educate our representatives on what we need. Medicaid funding is oftentimes a lifeline for many affected by autism, be it the insurance or the funds provided for services in the home. For many who rely on support, we must make our elected officials understand the likely impact of a decision to change Medicaid, whether through decreased funding, or changes to policies and rules.
Other issues include depth of coverage under the Affordable Care Act, protection of vocational rehabilitation services, a balance between research v. science funding.
Join the Autism Society to advocate for all individuals affected by autism.
What can you do? Just consider the impact if we all accomplished the following:
1. Educate your local Representatives and Senators and their respectives staff members on the benefits of how Medicaid and other U.S. government support helps individuals with autism. Tell your personal story.
2. Be an available resource for your representatives and their staff members when they need help or more information.
3. Let the Autism Society national office know how your local representatives are responding to your advocacy. We can then work with their Washington, D.C. staff. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-3autism.
4. Consider coming to DC and being part of the Autism Society’s Second Annual Afternoon on the Hill! Join us Thursday, February 22 from 1-5 p.m.. We can show our value and compassion like never before to our elected officials.
5. Prepare to be asked how Medicaid and other important programs helping those affected by autism can be cut. The reality is that we have a national financial concern we have to address. We must make Medicaid easier to access to by removing the redundancy and replication built into the system. Once we’re able to eliminate or reduce the duplication of services all can benefit - from the taxpayer to the individual or family using Medicaid as a lifeline to services. Eliminating redundancy streamlines access to services as well as reducing the tax burden on society. This must be addressed for the needs of the disability community and the taxpayer.
We cannot and must not be silent during this time. Be a resource and advisor to those who make decisions so that a decision will always be in the best interest of our community.
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.