In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the Inter-Agency Autism Coordinating Committee and research priorities.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced the appointments of new and returning members to the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC), a federal advisory committee reauthorized under the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support (CARES) Act of 2019. The IACC is a federal advisory committee composed of public stakeholders and federal officials that coordinates federal activities concerning autism spectrum disorder and provides advice to the HHS Secretary on issues related to autism. Committee meetings serve as a public forum for the sharing of community perspectives and concerns about autism. The committee uses this input as it formulates advice and recommendations for the HHS Secretary on matters related to autism research, services, and policy. The committee's responsibilities include developing and annually updating the IACC Strategic Plan for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and preparing an annual Summary of Advances in ASD Research.
After an open call to the public for nominations of individuals to serve on the committee, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, J.D., appointed 20 new and two returning public members to the IACC to provide him with advice to advance research, enhance services, and increase opportunities for people on the autism spectrum. The committee also includes 23 new and returning federal officials representing key federal agencies and departments that serve the autism community across a wide variety of areas, including biomedical research, healthcare, education, and social services. Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Institute of Mental Health, will continue to serve as the chair of the committee. The first meeting of the new committee will take place virtually on July 21-22, 2021 and will be open to the public via webcast. A full roster and biosketches of all the new and returning members can be viewed on the IACC website.
IACC Executive Secretary, Susan Daniels, Ph.D., stated, "We are excited to welcome the largest and most diverse IACC to date, with a wider representation of perspectives from across the autism community than ever before."
Public members appointed include autism self-advocates, parents and family members of children and adults on the autism spectrum, clinicians, researchers, and leaders of autism research, services, and advocacy organizations. Many of the appointed individuals serve multiple roles, such as parent and researcher or self-advocate and leader of an advocacy organization. Appointees hail from across the U.S., including states that have not been represented on the committee previously, such as Louisiana, Maine, Texas, Washington, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
Autism and disability organizations represented by new and returning appointees to the IACC include the Autism Science Foundation, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Autism Speaks, Champions Foundation, Simons Foundation, and Madison House Autism Foundation. Four federal departments newly joining the IACC —the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Labor, and U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs—will provide additional expertise in the critical areas of housing, employment, interactions with law enforcement, and care for veterans on the autism spectrum.
Public members appointed by the Secretary to serve on the IACC from 2021-2024 are:
- Maria Mercedes Avila, Ph.D., M.S.W., M.Ed.Associate ProfessorDepartment of PediatricsLarner College of MedicineUniversity of VermontBurlington, Vermont
- Alice Carter, Ph.D.ProfessorDepartment of PsychologyUniversity of Massachusetts Boston
- Samantha Crane, J.D.Legal DirectorAutistic Self Advocacy NetworkWashington, D.C.
- Aisha Dickerson, Ph.D.Assistant ProfessorDepartment of EpidemiologyBloomberg School of Public HealthJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimore, Maryland
- Dena Gassner, M.S.W.Ph.D. Candidate in Social WorkAdelphi UniversityWest Hempstead, New York
- Morénike Giwa Onaiwu, M.A.Humanities ScholarCenter for the Study of Women, Gender, and SexualityRice UniversityHouston, Texas
- Alycia Halladay, Ph.D.Chief Science OfficerAutism Science FoundationNew York, New York
- Craig Johnson, B.A.Founder and PresidentChampions FoundationHouston, Texas
- Yetta Myrick, B.A.Founder and PresidentDC Autism ParentsWashington, D.C.
- Lindsey Nebeker, B.A.Freelance Presenter/TrainerAlexandria, Virginia
- Valerie Paradiz, Ph.D.Vice PresidentServices and SupportsAutism SpeaksPrinceton, New Jersey
- Jenny Mai Phan, Ph.D.Post-Doctoral FellowWaisman CenterUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison
- Joseph Piven, M.D.Thomas E. Castelloe Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and PediatricsUniversity of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
- JaLynn R. Prince, B.F.A.Co-Founder, President, and ChairMadison House Autism FoundationRockville, Maryland
- Susan Rivera, Ph.D.Professor and ChairDepartment of PsychologyUniversity of California, Davis
- Matthew Siegel, M.D.Vice President of Medical AffairsDevelopmental Disorders Service LineMaine Behavioral HealthcareWestbrook, Maine
- Ivanova Smith, B.A.Self-Advocate FacultyLeadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related DisabilitiesUniversity of WashingtonTacoma, Washington
- Hari SrinivasanStudentUniversity of California, Berkeley
- Helen Tager-Flusberg, Ph.D.ProfessorDepartment of Psychological and Brain SciencesBoston UniversityBoston, Massachusetts
- Julie Lounds Taylor, Ph.D.Associate ProfessorDepartment of PediatricsVanderbilt University Medical CenterNashville, Tennessee
- Paul Wang, M.D.Deputy DirectorClinical Research Associates, LLCSimons FoundationNew York, New York
- Stephen Whitlow, J.D.Executive DirectorTransition ServicesMerakeyBaton Rouge, Louisiana
The autistic members of @IACC_Autism are: @lauralovesian1, @MorenikeGO, @LindseyNebeker, @HariSri108, @Samanticka, Dena Gassner, and Valerie Paradiz. That’s also a pretty broad ideological spread, with a lot of different expertise coming to the table.— Sara Luterman (@slooterman) July 7, 2021