The Politics of Autism discusses the problem of wandering, which has been the topic of legislation before Congress. Last year, the Senate voted to reauthorize Kevin and Avonte's Law and attached it to the National Defense Authorization Act,.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) received the 2022 “Congressional Leadership Award” this week for his continuous support and advocacy on behalf of individuals with autism. Grassley led the bipartisan effort to reauthorize Kevin and Avonte’s Law with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). The bill assists communities in locating individuals with autism, Alzheimer’s and other conditions that cause them to wander from safety.
The award, given by Autism Speaks, a non-profit autism awareness organization, is reserved for individuals who have championed steadfast advocacy for individuals with autism and their families. Grassley has prioritized the safety and quality of life for individuals with autism by empowering communities and caregivers to provide adequate care. The award was presented to Grassley by Keith Wargo, the president and CEO of Autism Speaks. Also in attendance was Josh Cobbs, Autism Speaks’ Director of Employment Initiatives, and the Johnson Family from West Des Moines who have long worked to raise awareness for individuals with autism.Senator Grassley receives the Autism Speaks 2022 Congressional Leadership Award.
I’m humbled to receive this recognition. Legislation like Kevin and Avonte’s law is instrumental in reuniting families, and Autism Speaks is a vital ‘boots on the ground’ organization that facilitates this care. We will continue working to help individuals with autism reach their full potential while honoring those we have lost, like Kevin Curtis Wills of Jefferson, Iowa,” Grassley said.
“Autism Speaks is grateful to Senator Grassley for championing legislation that prioritizes the safety of the autism community. His efforts have led to millions of dollars being delivered to first responders and local organizations in communities across the country to prevent the frightening and sometimes tragic consequences of wandering. We recognize the significance of this in creating a more inclusive world where all individuals with autism can feel supported and understood, and are deeply appreciative,” Wargo said.