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Please enjoy OARC’s quarterly newsletter, which includes Autism Awareness Month activities, recent events, news, and publications.

Autism Awareness Month

  The White House empty space A Proclamation on World Autism Awareness Day
In his 2022 Presidential Proclamation for World Autism Awareness Day, President Joseph R. Biden reaffirms his Administration’s commitment to equity for people on the autism spectrum across all races, ethnicities, genders, cultures, and geography in access to services, inclusion of people with lived experience in research, opportunities for competitive integrated employment, and the ability to pursue their life interests free of discrimination.
  United Nations Flag empty space U.N. Secretary-General Statement for World Autism Awareness Day
For World Autism Awareness Day, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres affirmed the UN’s support of the rights of people on the autism spectrum to fully participate in society. The rights of people with disabilities are supported in the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Secretary Guterres recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated many inequalities as well as the need for community-based support systems, such as systems for inclusive education, which is the topic of this year's UN World Autism Awareness Day Special Event on April 8, 2022.
  Logo for exceptional minds which includes those words empty space NIMH/OARC Special Event for Autism Awareness Month: Animating the Future for Exceptional Minds
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) are hosting their 9th Annual Autism Awareness Month Special Event, Animating the Future for Exceptional Minds. The event will feature Exceptional Minds, a non-profit organization in Los Angeles, California, that prepares young adults on the autism spectrum for careers in the digital arts and entertainment industry.
  United Nations Autism Banner which includes Colorful arms reaching high empty space Inclusive Quality Education for All
As COVID-19 has spread around the world, many schools have closed, exacerbating existing inequalities in education. This year’s observance of World Autism Awareness Day addresses the UN's fourth Sustainable Development Goal, "Quality Education," which includes inclusive and equitable lifelong learning opportunities for all. Specifically it notes that people with disabilities are entitled to equal access to all levels of education and vocational training. The UN's Sustainable Development goals were adopted in 2015 to address major challenges in the world.
For more Autism Awareness Month activities, please visit the Autism Awareness Month page on the IACC website.
Autism Meetings & Events
  The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) Logo empty space Upcoming IACC Full Committee Meeting
The purpose of the IACC meeting is to discuss business, agency updates, and issues related to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research and services activities. The meeting will be held virtually and is open to the public. The meeting will include a welcome from Acting Principal Deputy Director Dr. Tara Schwetz as well as presentations on housing and communication needs.
  INSAR Logo for 2021 empty space INSAR 2022 Annual Meeting
The International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) will be hosting their annual meeting this May. This year's event, which will be held both virtually and in-person, will include presentations from prominent autism researchers from all over the world.
  Autism Science Founcation Logo empty space 9th Annual Day of Learning
Since 2014, the Autism Science Foundation (ASF) has produced science conferences designed for autistic people and their families, advocates, and researchers. The ASF Day of Learning incorporates TED-style talks that bring top researchers together with autism stakeholders to share cutting-edge findings and to discuss issues that matter to the autism community. This year’s event was hybrid, occurring both in person at the New York Athletic Club and online.
  IACC meeting with Susan Daniels, Joshua Gordon, Catherine Lord, and Dena Gassner empty space January IACC Full Committee Meeting
During the January IACC meeting, the committee discussed the CDC’s autism prevalence update, The Lancet commission on the future of autism research, and committee business.
News & Blogs
  Parent and child playing with legos empty space CDC, AAP Update Developmental Milestones for Developmental Surveillance Program
In January, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated their developmental milestones checklist, which is part of the "Learn the Signs. Act Early." program. The original version of the tool listed milestones that at least 50 percent of children at a given age can demonstrate, while the revised version lists milestones that 75 percent of children can accomplish. Dr. Jennifer Zubler, a pediatrician who led this work, hopes that the updated tool will be more helpful in identifying children with developmental delays. The report describing the update was published in the journal Pediatrics.
  American Association of Suicidology logo which includes a large S in a triangle empty space American Association Of Suicidology Releases Autism-Specific Web Page For Suicide Prevention And Crisis Intervention
The American Association of Suicidology (AAS) released new resources for autistic people who are in crisis. The new page includes information on risk factors and toolkits. This is the first time a major, national suicide prevention organization has developed resources specifically for and about autistic people. Autistic people are three times more likely to attempt and die by suicide than non-autistic people. The AAS Autism and Suicide Committee will continue to update this page as part of their commitment to raising awareness and developing autism-specific resources.
Publications & Reports
  US Department of Education logo with Department the 43rd Annual Report to Congress text empty space Department Submits the 43rd Annual Report to Congress on Nation’s Progress Related to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
The U.S. Department of Education released its 2021 Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The report summarizes the nation’s progress in providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for children with disabilities and early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities, ensuring that the rights of these children with disabilities and their parents are protected, assisting states and localities in providing education for all children with disabilities, and assessing the effectiveness of efforts to educate children with disabilities.
  National Council on Disability Logo which includes an eagle and the words National Council on Disability empty space NCD Announces Health Equity Framework for People with Disabilities
The National Council on Disability (NCD) released a new framework for policymakers to address medical discrimination against people with disabilities and to achieve health equity. The Health Equity Framework rests on four core areas: designating people with disabilities as a Special Medically Underserved Population (SMUP), requiring disability clinical-care curricula for health professionals, requiring accessible medical and diagnostic equipment, and improving data collection. The framework provides a roadmap for fixing systemic barriers and includes many examples of documented health disparities and inquiries.
Community Participation Opportunities
Autism Society Logo, bunch of colorful lines empty space Seeking Autistic Adults for Suicide Prevention Survey
Researchers at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), with the participation of the Autism Society of America, are conducting a study on suicide prevention in relation to autistic adults. Suicide and its connection to autism is a current gap in the research base. The goal of this survey is to learn how crisis or suicide prevention hotlines may have been helpful to autistic people, and what other supports may have worked for self-advocates in times of crisis. This survey is not intended for autistic people under 18 or those under guardianship.