2011: A Year of Advocacy Accomplishments
Tis the season to reflect back on the year’s achievements.
2011 was a banner year for Autism Speaks – and for the autism community in general. Some of the most significant milestones were reached in the area of public policy.
This year, incredible strides forward were made when Congress passed the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act (CARA), authorizing an additional $693 million in federal funding for autism research, treatments and services over the next three years. In September, President Obama signed the bill with Autism Speaks Co-founders Suzanne and Bob Wright, and Board Member Billy Mann and his family attending the Oval Office ceremony.
Needless to say, this is an incredible win for the autism community which will help advance the support for individuals with autism.
2011 also ends with autism insurance reform laws on the books in 29 of the 50 states, with the addition of California, New York and four other states this year. This means that more health services will be covered for more people living with autism.
Our fight is far from over. We won’t be satisfied until all 50 states have enacted autism insurance reform so families no longer have to worry about how to pay for the instrumental development and medical needs of their family members.
Join the fight and support Autism Speaks advocacy efforts to help us hit the ground running in 2012.
(l to r) Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ); Scott Badesch, president, Autism Society of America; George Jesien, executive director, Association of University Centers on Disabilities; President Obama; Suzanne and Bob Wright, Autism Speaks Co-founders; Gena, Jasper and Billy Mann, Autism Speaks.