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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Sam Wessels Meets Chris Christie

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the issue's role in presidential campaigns

Sam Wessels, a young Iowan with autism, has been asking presidential candidates about their positions on autism during the past couple of cycles.

At The RespectAbility report, Lauren Appelbaum writes:
...Sam Wessels, a 15-year-old boy with autism, asked the governor about the low employment rates for adults with autism. Christie answered by discussing how New Jersey is an Employment First state, going into more detail than the statements he made in New Hampshire in December.
“Everything we do in terms of our program is geared toward getting people prepared to work in jobs that are available and jobs that help them reach their full potential,” the governor said at Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor and Museum on Jan. 17. “We have to get out of the mindset that folks who are on the Autism spectrum can’t work. They absolutely can work. There are lots of jobs out there that they can do and do very well and feel fulfilled by doing everyday.”
“By making ourselves a Work First state, we have changed the way our Human Services, Health Department and our Department of Education deals with this issue, to put our resources behind trying to make sure that younger people and older folks are prepared as they go through the school-age years and as they age out as that part of the system to be able to be ready for employment and have our Department of Labor work with employers to educate them about what the capabilities and potential is of folks who are somewhere on the Autism spectrum,” Christie added