Monday, June 30, 2008

Autism Legislation Advocates to Meet in September

A group of autism advocates from around the nation are planning their third annual meeting in September in Kansas City to discuss strategies for influencing public policy and state laws to help people with autism. The meeting dates are September 26 and 27, and the location is to be announced.

The group includes parents and other advocates working on such issues as health insurance coverage for autism services. Those attending this meeting in past years have led successful efforts in South Carolina and Texas to pass state laws requiring health insurers to cover autism-related services for children.

Lorri Unumb, a law school professor and advocate from South Carolina who organized the first two advocacy meetings and was a leader in the legislation effort in her state last year, said in an e-mail to fellow advocates: "I started organizing these “summits” a couple of years ago as a forum for parents and professionals who are interested in autism legislation and policy to get together and share ideas." The agenda, she said, includes sharing information, strategies and arguments to help broaden coverage for people with autism.

The meeting would be valuable for advocates and parents who are working in their states to pass such legislation and raise awareness. For more information about the event, send an e-mail to Lorri Unumb at lunumb AT sc DOT rr DOT com.