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Linda Walder Fiddle Will Help Lead Congressional Briefing for AFAA

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Linda Walder Fiddle, Founder and Executive Director of The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation will be the moderator of a Stakeholder Panel comprised of a diverse group of adults living with autism and family members of adults, in her role as a member of the Steering Committee of AFAA. This historic Congressional briefing will take place In Washington, D.C. on July 15, 2010.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced late last year that autism is affecting 1 in 110 children, including 1 in 70 boys. This represents a staggering 57 percent increase from 2002 to 2006 and a 600 percent increase in just the past 20 years. As parents, we struggle to find the answers to basic, immutable parenting questions, such as “what can I do to best support my child?” Questions become even more complex as our children enter adulthood and we wrestle with the looming concern of “who will care for my adult child when I’m no longer able to do so?”

The increase in prevalence is producing a corresponding increase in the need for effective services and lifetime supports for adults with autism. Demand continues to far exceed the available, leaving a generation of people with autism and their families in a programmatic, financial and personal limbo. Housing, employment and community life opportunities are limited and restrict the ability of adults with autism from achieving more productive and independent lives. Further, the costs for caring for each individual with autism throughout their lifetime is a staggering $3.2 million that our families and country cannot afford. To reduce the long-term financial and societal impacts, we must focus our energies on expanding resources, forging collaborations and amending public policy.

Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism (AFAA) is a national consortium of 14 organizations working together to develop the public and private sector support needed to improve the lives of adults with autism. We hope you will join us for the AFAA Congressional briefing with honorary co-chairs Senator Robert Menendez (NJ) and Congressman Mike Doyle (PA), July 15 at 9am in the Kennedy Caucus Room. At that time, we will present recommendations for a national policy agenda, based on the AFAA Think Tank and AFAA National Town Hall events held in 2009. During the briefing, we will address the unique needs of adolescents and adults living with autism in the areas of housing, employment and community life, as well as many cross-cutting themes. You will also hear directly from adults with autism and family members who are part of a stakeholders discussion panel.

AFAA Congressional Briefing Overview: Bringing together federal legislators, national policymakers and advocates for adults with autism – including individuals who have autism – to discuss priorities for action in both the public and private sectors that address the increasing and unmet demand for effective services for adolescents and adults with the disorder

Honorary Co-Chairs: Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Congressman Michael Doyle of Pennsylvania

Date/Time: 9am-12:30 pm, Thursday, July 15, 2010

Location & Schedule: Kennedy Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Office Building, Constitution Avenue and 1st Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
With more than 500,000 children entering adulthood within the next 15 years, and those individuals who have already reached adulthood, we need to be assured that our adult children are able to live out their lives in comfort and safety, engaged in productive meaningful jobs and experiences that promote independence, and included as part of communities that accept, understand and respect their differences.

SAVE THE DATE: Congressional Briefing

July 15, 2010
9:00 AM - 12:30PM


Kennedy Caucus Room
Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC

Register Now!

*Registration is required to attend this event. A limited number of seats are available, so please register ASAP.

Honorary Co-Chairs:
Senator Robert Menendez (NJ)
Congressman Mike Doyle (PA)

On July 15th, 2010, the Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism initiative will host a Congressional briefing that will bring together federal legislators, national policymakers and advocates for adults with autism – including individuals living with autism – to discuss priorities for action in the public and private sectors that address the increasing and unmet demand for effective services for adolescents and adults on the autism spectrum.

Following a brief overview of autism, a stakeholder panel—featuring a diverse range of adults on the spectrum as well as family members—will shed light on the strengths, challenges, complexities, and humanity of adults with autism. The panel will address the wide array of needs of this rapidly growing population. A presentation of the national agenda that was developed during a national town hall meeting in November will follow.

Topics to be discussed include:

Community Life
Cross-Cutting Issues
Click here for a detailed agenda of the Congressional briefing.

Partner Organizations: Alpine Learning Group, Autism Speaks, The Autism Program of Illinois, The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation, Easter Seals, Global Communities of Support, Hallmark Community Solutions, New York Center for Autism, Organization for Autism Research, Trinity Services, Inc., UM-NSU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center, rethink autism.
Lunch will be served following the briefing.

Jul 15 2010 9:00 AM
Jul 15 2010 12:00 PM
Washington, D.C.