General Information on Public Comments
Prior to each 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 inviting members of the community to provide public comment for the Committee’s consideration at the meeting. Submissions are accepted in writing via e-mail addressed to IACCPublicInquiries@mail.nih.gov or a web form on the IACC website. Public comments can also be submitted throughout the year on a rolling basis and will be collected and provided to the Committee for their consideration at the next IACC full committee meeting. At each full committee meeting, a limited number of slots are available for individuals to provide a 2-3 minute summary of their comment orally before the committee either in person or via a virtual platform. Individuals interested in the opportunity for an oral comment may indicate that in their written submission, and if a slot becomes available, they will be notified by the Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) and provided with instructions. For any given meeting, priority for oral comment slots will be given to those who have not previously provided oral comments in the current calendar year. This will help ensure that as many individuals as possible have an opportunity to share comments. OARC is not able to provide travel funds for individuals giving public comment.
Additionally, the IACC also periodically solicits public comment through Requests for Information, town hall meetings, or other venues. Comments received are taken into consideration by the committee in their strategic planning, development of recommendations, and planning of other autism-related activities. Due to the volume of comments, the IACC is unable to individually respond to public comments.
Guidelines and Privacy Notice
Guidelines for IACC public comment are designed to encourage respectful and constructive dialogue, to protect the privacy of individuals, and to ensure that public comments are maximally beneficial to the work of the committee. Guidelines are as follows:
- Individuals must be 18 years of age or older to register for and provide public comment to the IACC.
- Comments should be addressed to the IACC as a whole and not to specific IACC members nor to guest speakers or other individuals who are not members of the IACC.
- Comments should include the name of the submitter, affiliation if applicable, and full contact information including address, e-mail, and phone number. The contact information will be used by OARC to contact the submitter but will be redacted from the record.
- 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 provided to or prepared on behalf of the IACC become a part of the public record and written comments or videos of the meeting may be posted on the IACC website for public access.
- 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.
- Public comments received in writing 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, including any necessary redaction.
- Attachments are discouraged and will not be provided to the Committee except upon request.
- Submissions may include citations or web links to publicly accessible websites and documents. Please use these instead of attachments.
- Brief comments of 1000 words or less are best and most effective. If overly lengthy, comments may be truncated, with the rest available to the Committee upon request.
- Duplicate submissions are discouraged; if received, only one example will be provided to the Committee.
The following are prohibited in public comments and will either be redacted from public comments or the entire comment will not be accepted if containing the following:
- Vulgar, offensive, obscene, inflammatory, profane, threatening, or abusive language.
- Unlawful or otherwise objectionable statements, personal attacks, accusations against individuals or organizations.
- Discriminatory language (including hate speech) based on race, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or disability.
- Content that infringes on copyrights.
- Personal photos or videos.
- Sensitive personal information such as personal medical or educational records or information pertaining to legal proceedings.
- Detailed personally identifiable information about third parties.
- Solicitations and advertisements.