Venues for Public Comment
The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) is a Federal advisory committee that provides advice to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on issues related to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and provides a forum for public input into the Federal advisory process. The IACC welcomes public participation and input, offering several venues for members of the public to observe and/or comment on proceedings and activities of the IACC, including oral public comment periods at in-person meetings, special events such as town hall meetings, formal Requests for Information (RFIs), and opportunities to send written comments to the IACC via the IACC Public Inquiries inbox (IACCPublicInquiries@mail.nih.gov).
Guidelines for Public Comment at IACC Meetings
In addition to comments collected following solicitations in the Federal Register prior to meetings, written public comments are collected throughout the year and are provided to the committee at their full committee in-person meetings.
IACC public comments are intended for the IACC full committee, allowing all members of the committee an equal opportunity to benefit from the public input provided; public comment should not be used to correspond with individual members of the committee. In addition, the OARC cannot collect or provide public comments addressed to or on behalf of guest speakers or individuals who are not members of the committee, or for outside organizations, and these outside individuals and groups are under no obligation to receive or consider public comment under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).
The committee appreciates public input received through requests for information, written public comments and oral public comment sessions at meetings. Though the committee is unable to respond to each comment individually, the committee takes input received into consideration during deliberations, updates to the IACC Strategic Plan, and in efforts to provide the Secretary of HHS with advice on issues of critical importance to the ASD community.
Public comments provided to or prepared on behalf of the IACC become a part of the public record of the committee, so information that is private, confidential, copyrighted or proprietary should not be included, other than contact information to enable OARC or the IACC to contact a commenter if necessary. By voluntarily providing comments to the IACC, the commenter is consenting to the use and consideration of these comments by the committee and relevant federal agencies. Public comments received are prepared by OARC for the committee in accordance with the FACA, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Privacy Act, and other applicable laws, regulations and policies. With regard to written public comments, unless a specific request is made in writing to IACCPublicInquiries@mail.nih.gov to withhold the commenter's name, city, state, and affiliation, that information will remain in the comment. Other personally identifiable information, such as: street addresses; personal e-mail addresses; personal phone numbers; names of minors, dependent adults, and private third party individuals; photographs or videos of individuals or photographs or videos depicting sensitive personal information; medical and educational records; and other sensitive personal records, will be redacted. In addition, foul, obscene, threatening, violent, derogatory or hate language or photos will be redacted. Please refrain from including such material in submissions. Written statements prepared in conjunction with oral public comments will also be redacted according to the above guidelines. With regard to oral public comments made at public meetings of the IACC, any information that is shared by the commenter during the public comment session, including the commenter's name, city, state, and affiliation, will become a part of the public record. Due to the public nature of IACC public comments, including the posting of materials related to the IACC on a government website, and the need to protect the privacy of minors, only individuals age 18 and above will be permitted to provide public comments to the IACC.
In the future, IACC public comments redacted per the above guidelines will be made available to the public on the IACC website. In addition, public comments or information pertaining to public comments may also be included or referenced in other public records of the IACC, such as meeting minutes, transcripts and videos that are made available to the public on the IACC website.
IACC Spirit of Collaboration
In the 2009 IACC Strategic Plan, the IACC listed the "Spirit of Collaboration" as one of its core values, stating that, "We will treat others with respect, listen to diverse views with open minds, discuss submitted public comments, and foster discussions where participants can comfortably offer opposing opinions." In keeping with this core value, the IACC and the NIMH Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) ask that members of the public who provide public comments or participate in meetings of the IACC also seek to treat others with respect and consideration in their communications and actions, even when discussing issues of genuine concern or disagreement.
Please send questions about IACC requests for public comment to IACCPublicInquiries@mail.nih.gov.