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Legislative Committee Studying Supports for Transition to Adulthood

The NC General Assembly created a legislative research committee to look at the needs of individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD), including autism. The committee is collecting information and hearing from various stakeholders in order to make recommendations to the General Assembly about the quality and quantity of services available to those with IDD in North Carolina. In particular, the committee is charged with looking at services and support that will lead to employment and successful transition from school to work. The committee is also studying the coordination of various agencies responsible for transitions and options for those who may not be able to transition into a work environment.

The committee has had two meetings so far. The first focused on what state agencies are doing and how they may or may not be coordinating on efforts related to support, transition, education, and employment. For the second meeting, the committee invited the NC Department of Health and Human Services to respond to committee questions and give their perspective on what is needed. Community services providers who work on transition and employment also were invited to speak to the committee about what they are doing and what is needed.

ASNC was fortunate to be invited to present to the IDD Committee on March 1. We presented about what we think is going well and the work we are doing on transition and employment. We also made some recommendations to the committee.

ASNC recommendations

  • Statewide campaign to promote IDD employment and help employers understand the benefits and supports available as well as how to navigate any tax credits or other government incentives
  • Funding evidence-based and promising programs that help people, especially youth, with autism attain the skills for finding and keeping a job
  • Support for programs that get ALL youth with autism some type of work experience while they are still in middle or high school
  • Staffing for schools to implement pre-employment programs and better (and earlier) transition support
  • Support for programs that prepare youth for jobs, help with job searches, and include supports while they are on the job to help with retention
  • Long-term supports for people with IDD in the workplace so they can attain stable and long-term employment
  • Waiver slots so people with IDD can get supportive services in the workplace
  • Support for IDD-specific post-secondary programs, including financial aid, program expansion, and supportive services
  • Funding for transport and rural employment initiatives that address the unique challenges of underserved communities

 

Our presentation slides are online for public view on the Committee’s website.

The committee will have two more meetings: at noon March 28 in room 544 to speak with the business community about employing people with IDD, and the final one to present a report on their findings and, we hope, recommendations for how to ensure better outcomes for those with IDD.

ASNC will continue to monitor the work of the committee and advocate for our recommendations with the members. You can listen online to meetings from rooms that broadcast audio. Check the NCGA meeting calendar for dates, times, and rooms. Pro tip: if you see a room number in blue on the calendar, you can click on that for live audio when the meeting starts.

 

Learn more

ASNC offers information, resources, support, and workshops on topics such as transition plans, employment, guardianship, adult services, post-secondary education, and preparing for college.

 

What are your ideas for improving transition and employment opportunities for those on the autism spectrum? Post your ideas in a comment below.

Please contact ASNC Director of Public Policy Jennifer Mahan at jmahan@autismsociety-nc.org or 919-865-5068 for more information regarding this or other public policy issues. To learn more about ASNC’s public policy priorities and targets, see our website.

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