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Friday, August 3, 2012

Questions About Research Priorities

From the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network:
On July 10th, the federal government’s Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) released a new report analyzing the distribution of autism research dollars in 2010. This report – entitled the IACC ASD Research Portfolio – is an annual responsibility of the federal government under Public Law 112-32. At first glance, the report shows significant steps forward on one of the key priorities of the Autistic and autism communities: the percentage of research funding going towards services research: OARC reports 16% of the autism research agenda funding this priority, up from 3% in 2009. However, further scrutiny reveals that rather than an actual increase in the percentage of funding allocated to services research, OARC instead chose to re-classify existing training programs as “research” to give the impression of progress. Instead of getting more funding for services-research, we’ve just gotten creative accounting, re-classifying practitioner training programs as research activities.
Also see coverage at Left Brain/Right Brain: here, here, and here.