WASHINGTON, DC (September 8, 2014) -- Autism Speaks has named Angela Lello, a policy expert in Medicaid and longterm care and the mother of a child with autism, as its first Director of Housing and Community Living. The position was created in response to the rapid growth of individuals with autism "aging out" of school-based services into adulthood and the lack of services that await them.
"With an estimated 50,000 individuals with autism 'aging out' every year, the need to quickly develop housing and longterm adult services and community supports is acute," said Lisa Goring, Autism Speaks' executive vice president for programs and services. "Angela Lello brings over 10 years of experience in public policy and government affairs that will help expedite our ability to address the needs of adults with autism."
Based out of Washington, DC, Lello will be responsible for developing and implementing housing and community living policies and programs by working with federal, state, and local governments, individuals with autism and their families, and other stakeholder groups to ensure a diverse range of housing and support options for individuals with autism spectrum disorders.
"Angela is a subject matter expert in areas where adults with autism most need the help," said Stuart Spielman, senior policy advisor and counsel. "In her most recent position as Senior Analyst for the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission, Angela developed and led research and policy analysis projects on Medicaid, managed care, and longterm services, as well as analyzed proposals and regulations."
Lello began her career as a policy advocate at an Independent Living Center in Austin, Texas where she helped individuals access public services and represented ILCs and the interests of people with disabilities before the Texas Legislature. She also conducted policy analysis for the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, where she worked on the implementation of a variety of long term services and supports initiatives.
Lello then spent five years directing and managing public policy and public information for the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities. While at TCDD, Angela led the development of training projects in leadership and advocacy skills to increase the participation of people with developmental disabilities in policymaking, as well as open up leadership opportunities for them across the state.
In 2011, Lello was named a Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Public Policy Fellow and had placements with the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Abilene Christian University, and a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. She lives in Virginia with her husband and two sons, one of whom has autism.