Advocacy Position Statements


Autism Society of Texas: Position Statements

88th Texas Legislative Session | Jan. 10, 2023 – May 29, 2023 

Education

Advocate for safety initiatives, legal protections, safeguards and transparency for students with disabilities and their parents and caregivers. Ensure initiatives such as charter schools, vouchers, and individual savings accounts do not adversely affect public schools or access to a free and appropriate public education for students with disabilities. Support adequate funding for public schools. Advocate for appropriate behavioral supports and work to end unjust suspensions and discipline. Support reduced emphasis on state-mandated assessments, encourage limits on benchmark testing, and advocate for continuation of Individual Graduation Committees.

Community Living & Housing

Expansion of housing and community living options, as well as long-term supports. Gradual closure of State Supported Living Centers (SSLCs) so funding can be made available to expand community-based supports. Reduce the wait time for all Medicaid waiver interest lists. Increase the minimum Attendant Wage Rate (HHSC) to improve recruitment and retention of personal attendants for individuals with disabilities.

Health Care & Access To Treatment

Expand access to high quality, comprehensive, accessible and affordable health care services for all persons with Autism. Ensure the implementation of the Medicaid State Plan to cover Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) allows for access for all who would benefit from services statewide. Properly fund ECI to ensure that all children in Texas who are eligible for services receive them.

Employment

Support initiatives that would increase the overall employment rate for people with Autism. Presume that they are all capable of competitive employment, community service, volunteerism or appropriate day activities. Promote creation of programs to build capacity for providing employment to every person who desires it.

Human Rights

Work to protect the inalienable human and civil rights of people with Autism to live freely and safely. Actively strive to abolish stigmatization, abuse and neglect by supporting relevant policies and legislation. Advocate to develop and strengthen anti-bullying and anti-cyberbullying legislation and policies. Require training for all first responders on interacting with individuals with Autism.

Family Caregiving

Seek increased access and funding for respite care. Improve childcare training, funding, and options for children with disabilities. Require Autism training for all licensed childcare providers.

NEducation

Advocate for safety initiatives, legal protections, safeguards and transparency for students with disabilities and their parents and caregivers. Ensure initiatives such as charter schools, vouchers, and individual savings accounts do not adversely affect public schools or access to a free and appropriate public education for students with disabilities. Support adequate funding for public schools and special education. Advocate for appropriate behavioral supports and work to end unjust suspensions and discipline. Support reduced emphasis on state-mandated assessments, encourage limits on benchmark testing..

Community Living & Housing

Expansion of housing and community living options, as well as long-term supports. Gradual closure of State Supported Living Centers (SSLCs) so funding can be made available to expand community-based supports. Reduce the wait time for all Medicaid waiver interest lists. Increase the minimum Attendant Wage Rate (HHSC) to improve recruitment and retention of personal attendants for individuals with disabilities.

Health Care & Access To Treatment

Eliminate barriers to and expand access to high quality, comprehensive, accessible and affordable health care services for all persons with Autism. Codify and expand the use of telemedicine and telehealth. Ensure the implementation of the Medicaid State Plan to cover Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) allows for access for all who would benefit from services statewide. Properly fund Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) to ensure that all children in Texas who are eligible for services receive them.

Employment

Support initiatives that would increase the overall employment rate for people with Autism. Presume that they are all capable of competitive employment, community service, volunteerism or appropriate day activities. Promote the creation of programs to build capacity for providing employment to every person who desires it.

Human Rights

Work to protect the inalienable human and civil rights of people with Autism to live freely and safely. Actively strive to abolish stigmatization, abuse and neglect by supporting relevant policies and legislation. Advocate to develop and strengthen anti-bullying and anti-cyberbullying legislation and policies. Require training for all first responders on interacting with individuals with Autism.

Family Caregiving

Seek increased access and funding for respite care. Improve childcare training, funding, and options for children with disabilities. Require Autism training for all licensed childcare providers and ensure that children are allowed equal access to childcare.

Autism Society of America: National Position Statements

We are an active part of setting the public policy priorities with the Autism Society of America. Please subscribe to their advocacy newsletter Ignite4Autism here and check the Autism Society of America’s Public Policy Page for national legislative issues.

For questions about Advocacy and Public Policy, contact advocacy@texasautismsociety.org.