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Request for Information (RFI) Solicited Public Input for the IACC Services Subcommittee

On behalf of the IACC Services Subcommittee, the NIMH issued the Request for Information (RFI): Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee Draft Strategic Plan for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Research is Available for Comment, NOT-MH-08-016 on August 11, 2008.

The purpose of this time-sensitive RFI was to seek input from Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) stakeholders including individuals with ASD and their families, autism advocates, State officials, scientists, health professionals, therapists, educators, and the public at large about what they considered to be high-priority issues and concerns that surrounded the services and supports for children, youth, and adults with ASD. Specifically, the RFI sought information in the following areas: education services, health and medical services (including dental), housing, transitions, employment, community inclusion, safety, older adults, finances, guardianship, and estate planning.

The RFI was posted in the NIH Guide on August 11, 2008 and responses were accepted through September 19, 2008. The electronic link to the RFI was sent to a wide range of advocacy, research, and professional organizations, IACC members, attendees of past IACC meetings, the IACC strategic planning workgroup, the NIH autism listserv, and an email distribution list from the NIMH Office of Constituency Relations and Public Liaison.

RFI Responses

A total of 137 responses were received, coming in from all areas of the country. Individual respondents included parents or relatives of a child with ASD, individuals self-identified with ASD; professionals involved in ASD care, educators, and school staff; and researchers in ASD and other fields. Examples of organizations that responded included state autism societies; state or local departments of health, mental health, and public health; university departments; disease-specific foundations; advocacy organizations; and professional organizations. Respondents shared many personal stories and expressed a great diversity of opinions.

These comments were collated, redacted for personally identifying information, and provided to members of the Services Subcommittee for their review.

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