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Friday, July 29, 2011

The Autism Society and the Grassroots

A statement from Scott Badesch, Autism Society President and COO:

New Government Affairs Committee emphasizes strength of local chapters

It is a pleasure to serve the Autism Society. It is a great honor and privilege to serve as the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Autism Society. I strongly believe there is no better-positioned grassroots organization existing in the United States to best represent the needs of all those affected by autism. To best serve these individuals, the Autism Society is advancing its government and public policy efforts to enhance the active involvement of its 150 chapters, members and all those involved with the organization to help define its yearly legislative agenda.

The Autism Society has a volunteer led committee, co-chaired by national board members Andrew Baumann and Jon Basinger, who help define, upon the suggestions of Autism Society’s constituents, the organization’s top three to five legislative priorities. I am certain you will regularly hear about the work of this committee and how you can help decide the legislative priorities and then assist with their implementation. The Autism Society will also engage personnel at government entities and elected officials in discussions on how best to fully incorporate the needs of those living with autism into all aspects of daily life in a community and throughout the nation.

We need to move beyond simply advocating within the autism community to advocating throughout all aspects of society. Our current effort is to get our nation fired up that more than 80 precent of adults with autism are unemployed. We are a nation that finds a 9 percent unemployment rate for the general working public unacceptable, but often times, as a nation, we’re less likely to speak out against unemployment rates among adults with autism. The same holds true with housing, poverty prevention, and insurance coverage.

For more information about the Autism Society’s public policy campaign, Vote4Autism, please visit