LEGISLATION WATCH

S.2614/H.R. 4919  Kevin and Avonte’s Law of 2016
Kevin and Avonte’s Law passed the Senate with bipartisan support last week, securing advocates one more victory in the quest to provide law enforcement with critical training and resources to eliminate wandering incidents involving individuals on the autism spectrum. The bill has now been sent to the House for additional consideration.

H.R. 5902 Disability Community Act of 2016
The Autism Society joined with American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), Autism Speaks, Lutheran Services in America Disability Network (LSA-DN), and United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) to announce the introduction of the Disability Community Act. The Disability Community Act of 2016 (H.R. 5902) is the legislative solution offered by supporters of the Save Our Services (S.O.S.) Campaign: Funding the Future of Disability Services. The S.O.S. Campaign was launched in response to concerns around implementation of the new Department of Labor overtime rules without additional funding in place for Medicaid-funded community living programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

H.R. 5587 Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act
The Autism Society supports H.R. 5587. This important legislation promotes access to high-demand technical training and employment opportunities for all students with disabilities.

IN THE DISTRICT – STATE AND LOCAL ADVOCACY

Autism Society Central Texas recently conducted training for law enforcement on how to respond to the unique needs of individuals with autism. Autism Society Central Texas has provided video-based training to more than 600 first responders in the greater Austin region. Nationally, the Autism Society remains at the forefront of autism-related law enforcement training for over a decade. Through our nationwide Safe and Sound program, we work to guarantee law enforcement agencies have access to critical tools for engaging with individuals who may be unable to communicate.

PUBLIC POLICY UPDATES

The Department of Education is seeking comments from the public regarding its recently released draft rules for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The proposed rule changes highlight state accountability measures ensuring every student has an opportunity to thrive in our nation’s schools. Comments will be accepted until August 1, 2016. Submit your comments here.

The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) needs feedback to help identify priority topics for inclusion in the 2016 IACC Strategic Plan for ASD. The new plan will cover research, services and policy issues related to the 7 Questions covered in the IACC Strategic Plan. Click here to submit your comments. The comment period ends today.

COMMUNITY NEWS & EVENTS

Commemorating the 26th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

2016 Reinventing Quality Conference – July 31 – August 2, 2016

Webinar: A Closer Look at the New ABLE Programs – August 4, 2016

Webinar: Policy to Practice: Falls in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities –  August 9, 2016

Webinar: Helping Workers Keep Their Jobs After an Injury, Illness, or Disability – September 13, 2016

Wage Gap Impacts People with Disabilities

What Will Happen To Adult Children With Autism?

In first, Insurer to Offer ABA Coverage Nationwide

ADVOCACY TIP

In the world of public policy, getting to yes often involves a long windy road with a variety of starts and stops. One of the ways in which you can ensure decision makers listen to your issue is by telling data-informed stories. Legislators love hearing personal stories from constituents, but they also need solid facts and statistics. When crafting your story, be sure to have a well-developed narrative and supporting data.

For more advocacy tips, email advocacy@autism-society.org or follow us on Twitter @Ignite4Autism and use hashtag #Ignite4Autism.