St. Louis, MO (November 16, 2009) -- Volunteer advocates from 18 states gathered in St. Louis last weekend for the 4th annual Autism Law Summit. This event, which was co-sponsored by Autism Speaks and the Thompson Foundation for Autism, allowed advocates pursuing autism-related legislation to learn from one another and share strategies for success.
Conversations focused on health insurance reform and included not only advice on how to pass autism insurance legislation, but also discussions on implementation process in the 15 states where reform bills have already passed.
More than 50 lively participants included parents, providers, lawyers, lobbyists, legislators, and other interested professionals. Special guest speaker, Senator Kim Gillan, sponsor of Montana's successful autism insurance reform bill in 2009, spoke to the crowd about working with a legislative champion.
Autism Speaks Senior Policy Advisor and Counsel, Lorri Unumb, orchestrated the weekend-long discussions.
"It is amazing to experience the energy and enthusiasm generated by bringing together some of the great minds of the autism community for a weekend of focused conversation", said Unumb. "The passion and intellect of the movers and shakers in the room was palpable."
Attendees at the summit came from Arizona, California, D.C., Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
"That was a great conference," said conference attendee Chris Supple from Massachusetts. "I really enjoyed it, learned a great deal, and brought home some great resource material. Lorri is an extremely effective combination of encyclopedic knowledge and a very engaging, comfortable presentation style."
Pictured above 1: Summit attendees hold discussions at the conference table
Picted above 2: Lorri Unumb (right), Autism Speaks Senior Policy Advisor and Counsel, and Ann Gregory (left), Autism Speaks Kentucky Chapter Advocacy Chair