House and Senate Pass the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act

Next Stop: President's Desk

September 26, 2011


doc File CARA Press Release (175KB) [download]

Visit AUCD's Action Center to thank your Members of Congress for taking action on this bill.

SILVER SPRING, MD (September 26, 2011) -Tonight, the United States Senate passed the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act (HR 2005) as one of its last acts before going on recess. The bill is on its way to the President's desk. "We are all thrilled and relieved that important research, early identification, and professional training will continue," stated AUCD Executive Director, George Jesien. "Congress did the right thing by reauthorizing this law."

The bipartisan leadership of Congressmen Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Scott Brown (R-MA) demonstrated this evening that Congress can in fact get important work done and do the right thing for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities, their families and the researchers, faculty, professionals, and professionals-in-training who work on their behalf. AUCD thanks the thousands of family members, advocates, and other autism and disability organizations that helped make this reauthorization possible. Extending this law allows the research, education, and early identification efforts begun in 2006 to continue, yet we know there is more that needs to be done. AUCD looks forward to working with others to address the unmet needs of youth, adults, and those who are un-served or under-served.

Kim Musheno, Legislative Affairs Director for AUCD, added her thanks to the family members, researchers and network members who helped inform Congress about the importance of continuing the activities authorized by the law, as well as Autism Speaks, the Autism Society, and members of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities who collaborated and worked so hard to educate Members of Congress and urge action on this important bill.

AUCD also appreciates the leadership of President Barack Obama and his Administration who remained steadfast in their support of the law.  The President is expected to sign the bill soon.

About AUCD

AUCD is a national network of 67 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs), 43 Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) programs, and 15 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers (IDDRCs). As the prevalence of autism has risen, University Centers have initiated many activities to help meet the growing needs of children, adults, and families. Together, these programs have a national impact through direct services, the development of new professionals, and the application of new knowledge generated from research.  For more information and a national directory of Centers, see AUCD's website at

For more information on the Combating Autism Act see, "Report to Congress on Activities Related to Autism Spectrum Disorders and Other Developmental Disabilities Under the Combating Autism Act of 2006 (FY 2006-FY 2009)."