While ASNC staff are advocating at the N.C. General Assembly on behalf of people living with autism, we are also monitoring federal autism legislation.
Once the N.C. state budget is finalized, we will be visiting with our N.C. Congressional Delegation members to solicit their sponsorship and support for several federal autism bills (listed below).
Please check our e-updates and blog for opportunties to join us for these visits.
The websites of our two national autism organizations: Autism Society of America (www.autism-society.org ) and Autism Speaks (www.autismspeaks.org) are excellent resources for tracking the status of proposed federal legislation.
Here is an update on Federal autism initiatives:
1.Senate 819/House 2413: Autism Treatment Acceleration Act of 2009 (ATAA):
This landmark piece of legislation will enhance the quality of life for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families by mandating autism insurance coverage and by funding autism programs for lifespan services ( including adults) and for autism research that connects to the provision of services. To learn more about the ATAA, please visit www.autismvotes.org/ATAA
2.Senate 493: Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Accounts Act):
This bi-partisan legislation would allow individuals with disabilities and their families to create tax-exempt savings accounts for supporting individuals with disabilities in maintaining health, independence and quality of life. Examples of the savings that qualify for this account include: education, medical and dental care, community support services, employment training and support, housing and transportation. The legislation’s intent is to supplement rather than to replace benefits provided by other sources, including Medicaid and private insurance. To read more about the ABLE Act, please visit www.Autism votes/ABLE
3. U.S. House Passes Bill to Expand Autism Treatment to Military Families
On June 25, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation expanding services for autism treatment for military families. The National Defense Authorization Act includes an amendment authored by Congressman Joe Sestak (D-PA) expanding insurance coverage for the children of service personnel under the military’s health-care program (TRICARE). Read more …
4. Tell Congress to Fund Lifespan Respite
Congress will decide on funding for the Lifespan Respite Care Act of 2006 shortly after coming back from the July 4th recess. On July 8, the Appropriations Committee is expected to quickly finish their work on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Labor/HHS/Education appropriations bill. This bill is the opportunity for Congress to fund the lifespan respite care that families need. Read more …
5. Support the IDEA Fairness Restoration Act (H.R. 2740)
Congressmen Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Pete Sessions (R-TX) have introduced the IDEA Fairness Restoration Act (H.R. 2740). This bill is critically important to families trying to assert the rights afforded to their students under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), one of the key laws governing disability rights and education. Read more …
6. President Obama Announces New Initiatives to Assist Americans with Disabilities
President Barack Obama recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision in the case of Olmstead v. L.C. by launching “The Year of Community Living,” a new effort to assist Americans with disabilities. Read more …