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Peter Bell Re-appointed to White House Disabilities Panel

July 18, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC (July 18, 2012) -- Autism Speaks Executive Vice President of Programs and Services Peter Bell has been re-appointed as a member of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities, which advises the President and Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) on issues that impact people with intellectual disabilities and their quality of life. Bell was first appointed to the Committee earlier this year.

The Committee consists of 21 citizen members appointed by the President and 13 ex officio (Federal Government) members designated by the President. Their charge is to “improve the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and uphold their right to enjoy a quality of life that promotes independence, self-determination, and full participation as productive members of society.” The Committee’s goals include “the assurance of full citizenship rights, the reduction of the occurrence and severity of intellectual disabilities and the promotion of forward thinking programs and services and cutting edge assistive technologies to improve the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.”

“I am honored to continue representing Autism Speaks and the millions of individuals and their families who live with an intellectual or development disability (IDD),” said Bell. “The President’s Committee is focused on making sure the IDD population is well supported, well represented and given the opportunity to lead the most meaningful lives they can. As the prevalence of autism continues to grow at an exponential rate, it is even more critical to raise awareness of these needs and to identify and quickly implement solutions that will benefit the IDD population.”

Bell, the father of a teenage son with autism, oversees Autism Speaks’ government relations and family services activities and also serves as an advisor to the science division. He serves on numerous boards and commissions, including as co-founder and president of Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism (AFAA), chair of the Community Advisory Committee of the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR), and former chair and member of the Integration Panel of the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs for autism research.