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Calls to Action

When the Personal Gets Political

By Liane Kupferberg Carter, a community activist, journalist and Autism After 16 blogger, who has served on Autism Speaks’ Parent Advisory Committee.

Remember that saying from the 1970s – the personal is political?

As the parent of an autistic twenty-year old, I know what my own family is struggling with. Employment. Housing. Healthcare.  Insurance. Long-term community-based services and supports. Education. Transportation. Research. And my family is your family. Improving the quality of life for autistic children and adults is my top priority.

I’m not telling you who to vote for. I’m not telling you who I’m voting for. Because this is a bipartisan issue. We need politicians who will lead, not follow. Politicians who will actually develop and co-sponsor bills, not ones who just show up for photo ops during an election year.  They need to know just how urgent these issues are to you. To us. They need to understand that funding our families’ futures isn’t discretionary; it’s a necessity.

I’m passionate about this. I know you are too. This Friday, both the Obama and Romney campaigns will address the nation's disability issues, including autism, at an election forum from 12:30 and 3:30 pm EST. (You can watch the webcast by registering here.)

It’s up to our whole community to remind our politicians that our voices count. We need programs, not just promises. We need to know how our politicians intend to make a difference for the autism community.