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NYS Autism Spectrum Disorders Advisory Board releases progress report

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Mon, Jul 19th 2021 12:55 pm

Report details advances in supports and services, community awareness & acceptance

The New York State Autism Spectrum Disorders Advisory Board announced the release of its third and most recent report to the Legislature and the governor that highlights its work and its progress on previously issued recommendations for improving quality of life, community acceptance, and supports and services for New Yorkers with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

The June report includes details on state action and progress on previously announced recommendations of the board, including: enhancing communications to raise awareness and combat discrimination; supporting people with ASD living in the community; increasing collaboration between state agencies; establishing family support groups; focusing on wellness by supporting proper exercise and nutrition; improving support for telehealth services throughout New York state; studying how assistive technology can be more fully utilized; and engaging in cutting-edge research around ASD. 

The report also details recent statutory changes of interest to the Autism Spectrum Disorders Advisory Board, adds three new recommendations, and describes a new law directing the board to identify strategies and methods of improving outreach and coordination of services for minority groups.

Courtney Burke, chairperson of the NYS Autism Spectrum Disorders Advisory Board, said, “I am grateful to the members of the Autism Spectrum Advisory Board and to the many people who contributed ideas for this report. We look forward to continuing to find and recommend ways to improve services and policies that better support people on the autism spectrum and their families.” 

OPWDD Commissioner Theodore A. Kastner, M.D, M.S., said, “Every person supported by the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities has unique needs, preferences, abilities and life goals. The work and recommendations of the Autism Spectrum Disorders Advisory Board is extremely valuable to our agency as we continue to implement systemwide improvements that increase our outreach efforts and help us provide supports better targeted to each person’s needs.”

In November of 2016, Cuomo signed into law Chapter 469 of 2016, which created the Autism Spectrum Disorders Advisory Board to help provide guidance and information to New York officials, individuals with an autism spectrum disorder, and families seeking reliable information regarding available services and supports. The law was expanded in 2018 when Cuomo signed Chapter 278 into law, which directs the board to improve outreach and coordination to minority group members.

The board's full report is available on the OPWDD website.

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