What is the Autism CARES Act?

The Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support (CARES) Act of 2019 reauthorizes and expands the provisions first introduced in the Combating Autism Act of 2006. The purpose of the law is to provide a coordinated federal response to the rising number of individuals diagnosed with autism (AS) and other developmental disabilities (DD) and to increase investments to help address the growing needs of these individuals and their families across the lifespan. The law is the primary source of federal funding for autism research, services, training, and monitoring.

In carrying out the provisions of the Autism CARES Act of 2019, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) supports training programs, research, and state systems grants to:

‌ Improve access to early screening, diagnosis, and interventions for children with AS/DD;

‌ Promote the use of early screening and evidence-based interventions for AS/DD;

‌ Increase the number of professionals trained to diagnose AS/DD;

‌ Increase the number of professionals trainee to provide interventions and services to ndividuals with AS/DD;

‌ Provide information and education on AS/DD; and

‌ Promote research and distribute information on the development and validation of reliable screening tools for AS/DD.


How Does ITAC Support HRSA-Funded Autism CARES Programs?

As the Autism CARES Act National Interdisciplinary Training Resource Center, ITAC provides technical assistance (TA) and develops training resources for HRSA-funded Autism CARES training programs, including interdisciplinary LEND and DBP programs. To learn more about TA services, click here.

As part of our technical assistance, ITAC hosts an annual Autism CARES meeting. The meeting is an opportunity for HRSA-funded CARES grantees (representing research, training, and state systems) to share information about activities within their respective networks, discuss emerging trends, and faciliate meaningful collaboration.

‌ To learn more about the 2023 Autism CARES Grantee Meeting, or view our archive of past meetings, click here.


Federal Resources

The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC): a Federal advisory committee that coordinates Federal efforts and provides advice to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on issues related to autism.

The Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB): Through the Autism CARES Act of 2019, MCHB invests in training, research, and in-state-level MCH agencies to improve access to quality services for children and youth with autism and developmental disabilities.


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This website is provided in partial fulfillment of tasks outlined in a cooperative agreement (#2 UA5MC11068-15-00) between AUCD and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). The contents of this website do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of MCHB, the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or the U.S. Government.