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Calls to Action

National Town Hall Meeting

National Town Hall Meeting
Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism (AFAA) is a national consortium seeking to create meaningful futures for adults with autism that include homes, jobs, recreation, friends, and supportive communities.

On November 13, 2009, over 1,000 Americans came together across 16 sites and online to create a policy agenda for addressing the needs of adults with autism. These individuals, including adults with autism, family members, community leaders, service providers, and elected officials, came together out of a shared sense of concern and a deep shared commitment to create meaningful futures for adults with autism throughout the country.

Click here to see a photo gallery of the Town Hall meetings.

With the growing prevalence rates of autism in America and around the world, now is the time to act to improve services and opportunities available for the rapidly increasing population of adults with autism.

See below to view speeches made at the National Town Hall Meeting in Chicago by the city's mayor Richard M. Daley and his wife Maggie, Lisa Goring, Director of Family Services, and Peter Bell, Executive Vice President of Programs and Services at Autism Speaks.

 Lisa Goring Introduces AFAA's National Town Hall Meeting in Chicago (YouTube ~7 minutes)

Peter Bell's Keynote at National Town Hall Meeting in Chicago pt. 1 (YouTube ~7 minutes)

Chicago Mayor and Mrs. Daley at the National Town Hall Meeting. (YouTube ~8 minutes)

Peter Bell's Keynote at National Town Hall Meeting in Chicago pt. 2 (YouTube ~6 minutes)

Lisa Goring's Closing Remarks at National Town Hall Meeting (YouTube ~4 minutes) The Town Hall, co-hosted by Autism Speaks, consisted of four major group discussions on cross-cutting issues, housing, employment and community integration for adults with autism. Each participant had a voice in determining the priorities of the national agenda to advance the futures of adults with autism.

Click here to see the Participant's Guide for the discussions that took place during the Town Hall.

Click here to see the Preliminary Report that includes the discussions and opinions of the over 1,000 participants.

What's Next?

The outcomes from the AFAA Town Hall Meeting will be compiled into a final report, to be posted on the web by January of 2010. The report will take the results and combine them into a single document so we can fully take advantage of the great input generated at the Town Hall sites. This statement will serve as a national agenda from which an action plan will be devised. The conversation will inform and educate participating stakeholders in both public and private sectors. The Autism Congress in 2010 will set forth recommendations for new public policy and changes to existing policy that will improve the lives of adults with autism.

Get Involved!

The more people in our communities that share our goals and commitments, the stronger our efforts are going to be. We can expand the pool by spreading the word to friends and members of our communities.

Click here to go to the AFAA website to learn more. Join the AFAA Facebook group to receive updates and chat with others supporting the cause. AFAA is going to create discussion forums on the website for those who are interested in taking part in an ongoing discussion about what we can all do to help the cause. By working together, we can make progress toward the goal we all hope to achieve - to advance the futures for adults with autism.
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