Friday, June 20, 2008

Autistic Adults Planning Committee Seeks Comments

In response to lobbying efforts by ASAN's New Jersey chapter to create a state planning committee focused on the needs of autistic adults, the New Jersey Adults with Autism Task Force was created. ASAN is seeking comments from autistic adults, family members, professionals, and other interested parties regarding public policy on the needs of autistic adults. Comments should be sent to ASAN's national organization, as requested by Ari Ne'eman, and will be shared with the Task Force.

Hello all,

Today, I will attend the first meeting of New Jersey Adults with Autism Task Force, the nation's first state-level planning committee specifically on the needs of Autistic adults. As some of you may recall, the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network lobbied for the creation of this task force with an autistic representative. On April 2nd, I was named by Governor Jon Corzine of New Jersey to serve as one of the body's public members. We are pleased that our community's voice was heard on this issue and I look forward to serving on the Task Force in future months. Although it will only make policy recommendations for one state, this body will develop ideas that, if effective, may provide guidance for public policy on the needs of autistic adults across the globe.

As such, I am personally inviting autistic adults, family members, professionals and others who are interested in sharing their thoughts about the Task Force's mission to e-mail ASAN at with stories, recommendations and other comments that you feel will help broaden the perspectives of the Task Force's members, including myself. Please put the keyword, "AUTISTIC ADULTS" in your subject line and feel free to send your stories and/or thoughts at any point over the coming months. In your e-mail, please indicate where you are writing from, some background details about you to the extent you feel comfortable sharing them and whether or not you would be okay with your story being shared publicly. No e-mails will be posted anywhere without the prior written permission of the author. Over the next year, the Task Force will draft policy that I hope will serve as a model for meeting the needs of autistic adults now and into the future. Thank you and please feel free to distribute this message to your networks.

Ari Ne'eman
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network
1101 15th Street, NW Suite 1212
Washington, DC 20005


Socrates said...

Ari, absolutely fantastic news. Well done! Here in the east of the UK, we're having a public meeting later in the month with our local MP and representitives from the local council, to explore the same topics. Looks like it's the year adult services.

Ari said...

I'm pleased to hear that Socrates - and I hope that, if you have the time, you think about sharing your story. If there's anything we can assist on in terms of providing policy recommendations to utilize in the UK, let me know.

Socrates said...

Hi Ari, this is the outline of what I'm taking to the meeting. There's currently a discussion going on among the members of [Our local autism organization] about the inclusion of parents of autistic kids in the service planning process - the authorities seem quite non-plussed by the idea, so the idea of having adult autistics involved in their care-planning is so left-field as to fail to register. It's early days and there's a mountain to climb, but one little step at a time...