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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Ruth Christ Sullivan

A couple of years ago, The Huntington Quarterly listed some accomplishments of Ruth Christ Sullivan:
  • She was the first lobbyist to bring autism issues to the state legislatures of New York and West Virginia.
  • She was the first lobbyist for autism issues at the United States Congress and was instrumental in the passage of the national Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [then the Education for All Handicapped Children Act] in 1975, guaranteeing free education to all children with disabilities, including autism.
  • She operated the National Autism Hotline out of her home for five years.
  • She founded several state and local chapters of the Autism Society of America.
  • She served on the board of the ASA for four years, and she is still an honorary board member.
As an early autism lobbyist, she succeeded in getting Congress to include autism in the Developmental Disabilities Act.

KPLC-TV in Lake Charles, Louisiana, profiles Sullivan:

KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

 In part 2, Sullivan talks about progress since the 1960s:

 KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana