Rhode Island UCEDD Director Dr. Anthony Antosh Speaks at Congressional Autism Caucus Briefing

April 24, 2015

Dr. Antosh speaks at the Congressional Autism Caucus Briefing on April 23, 2015
Dr. Antosh speaks at the Congressional Autism Caucus Briefing on April 23, 2015

doc File 2015-0423 autism briefing antosh speaks.doc (285KB) [download]

On Thursday, April 23rd, 2015, Congressmen Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Mike Doyle (D-PA), Co-Chairs of the Coalition for Autism Research and Education, hosted a congressional Hill briefing on "Autism and the Aging Out Crisis." The briefing was held to shine a spotlight on the need for increased federal support for improved transition services for the youth and young adults with autism and their families.

The briefing featured experts on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and transition planning, including AUCD member Dr. Anthony Antosh, Director of the Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities at Rhode Island College (UCEDD) and self-advocates including Jonathan Kratchman, a high school senior.

The panel of speakers illustrated the need for coordinated, person-centered services to help youth reach their goals, such as pursuing postsecondary education, employment, and social networks. Dr. Antosh spoke specifically about the gap in services young adults with ASD and other developmental disabilities experience when they graduate from high school, and how federal and state agencies can help bridge this gap. He also highlighted a monograph developed by the AUCD network entitled A Collaborative, Interagency Approach to Transition, available on the Association's website.

"The service gap exists where we fail to integrate and operationalize with a very practical, person-centered model," Dr. Antosh stated. "What I want to promote at the state and federal level is implementing the evidence-based practices we already know work."

Andrew J. Imparato, Executive Director of AUCD, adds, "I'm thrilled that the bipartisan Congressional Autism Caucus is holding this briefing and bringing awareness to the need to serve the youth with ASD and other disabilities who are transitioning out of high school every year. These young adults add significant value to our society and deserve the supports necessary to encourage their continued growth. This briefing is a great way to end Autism Awareness and Acceptance month, and we are hopeful that Congress will continue to focus on these needs."

The full briefing can be viewed on YouTube at https://youtu.be/eoJ9uDyCa8o.

The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), located in Silver Spring, MD, promotes and supports a national network of interdisciplinary centers on disabilities. The members of AUCD represent every U.S. state and territory. AUCD and its members work to advance policy and practice through research, education, leadership, and services for and with individuals with developmental and other disabilities, their families, and communities. For more information, visit AUCD's website, www.aucd.org.