President Biden recently signed into law The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, which contains some significant victories for the community of persons with Developmental Disabilities and Autism. These include:
- The first expansion in a decade of the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, which works to understand the number and characteristics of people with Developmental Disabilities and Autism, racial and ethnic disparities, and access to services for those who live in various areas of the country. They are also expanding monitoring of outcomes for young adults transitioning from school age to adult services.
- Increased funding to provide more training opportunities for future health professionals to help improve access to high quality health care for persons with Autism and Developmental Disabilities.
- Supports implementation -focused research that targets caregiver-mediated interventions, including caregiver skills training.
- For the first time, supports ongoing work at the National Institute on Aging to understand how autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects the aging process.
- Increased funding for vocational rehabilitation programs, which assist persons with Autism and developmental disabilities to receive training and resources to obtain competitive, integrated employment
Thanks goes out to Autism Caucus co-chairs Reps. Chris Smith (R, NJ) and Mike Doyle (D, Pa) as well as Senators Amy Klobuchar (D, MN), Thom Tillis (R, NC), and Robert Menendez (D, NJ) who have championed these efforts for many years.
To learn more about this milestone and the positive changes it will bring, please visit https://www.autismspeaks.org/advocacy-news/milestone-wins-autism-community-federal-bill.