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Calls to Action

Autism Speaks Advocacy Priorities

We champion legislation to promote the well-being, financial security and equal opportunity for children and adults on the autism spectrum.
 
 
 
Investment in Research
Passage of the 2015 Autism CARES Act, dedicating $1.3 billion in federal research funding for autism through 2019. The passage of The Combating Autism Act has generated $1.7 billion since 2006.
 
Providing New Financial Tools
Passage of the 2014 Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, allowing tax-preferred savings accounts for people with disabilities. States across the country are setting up programs to make this important financial tool available to individuals with disabilities.
 
Expanding and Improving Health Care
Enactment of autism insurance legislation in 45 states across the country, providing access to medical treatment and therapies for individuals diagnosed with autism. Enhancement of federal autism-related benefits for the civilian and military work force, as well as greater access to autism care for individuals covered by self-funded health plans, Medicaid and the Childrens’ Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
 
Supporting Adults with Autism
Expansion of options at the federal and state levels for adults with autism to gain the supports they need to live as independently in the community as possible through appropriate housing, supports and employment. Currently, more than 300,000 individuals are on waiting lists to receive critical support services.
 
What’s Next?
The advocacy team is also hard at work on legislative initiatives that will improve education, safety and employment opportunities for individuals with autism and meets regularly with community leaders, self-advocates and parents on issues that are important to the autism community. We are also working with Congress to ensure that the dollars invested in research result in new products and meaninful treatments for people with autism.

 

For advocacy media inquiries please contact Director of Advocacy Media Content and Projects at Nicholas.galbraith@autismspeaks.org.