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
Prior to each in-person meeting of the IACC full committee, the Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) issues a Federal Register notice and an announcement on the IACC website providing the guidelines for how the public can provide their input in the form of either oral or written public comments. The Federal Register notice and announcement provide instructions and deadlines. Pre-registration and an accompanying written statement are required for oral public comments.
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 the IACC become a part of the public record of the committee, so information that is private, confidential or proprietary should not be included, other than contact information to enable OARC to contact a commenter if necessary. Public comments are prepared by OARC for the committee in accordance with the FACA, the Privacy Act and other applicable laws, regulations and policies. Unless specifically requested, the name, city and State, and affiliation of the commenter will remain included in the comment during the redaction process, but other personally identifiable information (street addresses, personal e-mail addresses, personal phone numbers, names of minors or adult dependents, etc.) will be redacted. In addition, foul, obscene, threatening, violent, derogatory or hate language or photos will be redacted.
In the future, IACC public comments will be made available to the public in a searchable online database. Information that is provided in public comments become a part of the public record, and except in the cases of the types of personally identifiable information and inappropriate language or photos listed above that are redacted from the comments, in the future, the information will be made publicly accessible in an online public comment database.
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.