On Friday August 8, 2014, President Obama signed the Combatting Autism Reauthorization Act.
The law calls for $260 million annually through 2019 for autism research, prevalence tracking, screening, professional training and other initiatives. Though it includes more than a billion dollars in funding increases, the Austim CARES Act or H.R. 4631 does not adequately represent autism self-advocates or increase funding for those currently seeking supportive services. Further, ASAN (Autism Self-Advocacy Network) urged congressional leaders to modify the bill to remove offensive language, increase representation of individuals with autism on the IACC, and to reduce the increase bureaucratization that the passage of H.R. 4631 brings. IDEATE supports ASAN and urges further amendment to the law to better meet the needs of the people it’s designed to support. In short, H.R. 4631 will be implemented about the citizens with autism rather than with them. IDEATE feels that legislation such as this allocating millions or billions of dollars should prioritize inclusion.
Is autism really something to ‘combat’? IDEATE, like ASAN, feels that language such as this serves to dis-include and marginalize individuals. Read more about the progression of this law.
In a letter dated June, 2, 2014, ADAPT, Association of People Supporting Employment First,
Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living, Autism Women’s Network, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, Little People of America, National Council on Independent Living, National Down Syndrome Congress, Not Dead Yet, Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities, Self Advocates Becoming Empowered, TASH and the Washington Metro Disabled Students Collective all stood with ASAN in urging Chairman Pitts and Ranking Member Pallone to act on four points to increase inclusion in this legislation.
IDEATE and the individuals we support, will be on this list going forward.