Autism CARES Grantees Share Resources, Best Practices for Transition

December 22, 2016

ITAC, in collaboration with SPHARC and HRSA-MCHB, hosted the Autism CARES (Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support) Grantee Virtual Meeting on July 21, 2016.  This bi-annual meeting was an opportunity for over 200 MCHB-funded Autism CARES legislation grantees - representing research, training, and state implementation stakeholders - to share information about activities within their respective network, discuss emerging trends, and facilitate meaningful collaboration.  This year's theme was "Integrated, Person-Centered Approaches to Transition."

The meeting kicked off with an informative keynote by Anne Roux, a research scientist at the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute's Life Course Outcomes Research Program and lead author of the award-winning National Autism Indicators Report series. Anne shared data about the transition landscape as we are currently able to quantify across a variety of life domains including connection to others and to services, independent living and employment.  She concluded with a challenge to the present grantees to invest in "building the gauges" that are needed to determine when and how autism interventions "move the needle" on transition outcomes. This presentation was followed by time for participants to view selections from a variety of pre-recorded 5-10 minute grantee presentations showcasing innovative practices in transition services and research.  Participants then joined small group discussions facilitated by the grantee presenters to dig deeper into one of eight available topics.   The virtual meeting wrapped up with a panel discussion of self-advocates and family members reflecting on the topics discussed. 

To capture this information and encourage ongoing collaboration, ITAC created an online archive of meeting materials including recordings of the presentations (with slides when possible) and an Autism CARES policy update. 

ITAC is already working with SPHARC, HRSA-MCHB, and grantee representatives to plan an in-person CARES meeting July 10-11, 2017.  Please mark your calendars and contact Sarah DeMaio (sdemaio@aucd.org) for more information.  Visit www.aucd.org/itac for updates in the coming months.