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Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Autism Speaks: Looking Back on 2018

In The Politics of Autism, I write about the major organizations in the field, including Autism Speaks.

From Autism Speaks:
As we ring in the New Year, join us in celebrating some highlights of 2018!Th

Through strategic partnerships and the support of the autism community, the Autism Speaks Advocacy Team pursues policy solutions for individuals across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan. This year, we worked to:
Be a catalyst for life enhancing research breakthroughs.
Increase early childhood screening and timely interventions.
  • Funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was extended until 2027. 
  • New CPT codes were approved for ABA services through our work on the CPT Steering Committee.
  • Medicaid reimbursement rates for ABA professionals were increased, benefitting families who were having difficulty finding providers to serve them.
  • The Departments of Labor, HHS, and Treasury provided guidance under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, singling out ABA as a treatment for autism that in many cases must be covered.
Improved coverage of autism across the US!
Improve outcomes for transition-age youth.
  • California enacted legislation to create and fund the “Breaking Barriers in Employment for Adults with Autism Pilot Program” in the counties of Sacramento and Los Angeles.
  • Georgia enacted Georgia's Employment First Act, promoting employment as the first and preferred option offered to people with disabilities receiving government funded services.
  • North Carolina funded a high-tech autism employment pilot program.
  • The US House Committee on Small Business held a hearing titled, “Ready, Willing, and Able to Work: How Small Businesses Empower People with Developmental Disabilities." Autism Speaks President and CEO Angela Geiger testified at the hearing.
  • The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act was reauthorized, helping to increase access to education and employment opportunities for people with autism and other disabilities.
  • The Congressional Autism Caucus hosted a briefing on the challenges and opportunities to improve law enforcement interactions with the autism community.Oklahoma added $2 million to its budget to address the wait list for Medicaid home and community-based services.
Ensure access to reliable information and services throughout the life span.
Many thanks to advocates like you who take action on behalf of the autism community!