IACC Strategic Plan
For Autism Spectrum Disorder
Since 2009, the IACC Strategic Plan for Autism Spectrum Disorder has outlined priority areas for enhanced research, services, and policy issues to address the needs of autistic individuals and their families across the spectrum and across the lifespan and has served as a guide for federal ASD activities. This 2018-2019 update of the Strategic Plan reviews recent activities of the IACC and its working groups, research progress, and federal ASD-related programs.
Full committee meetings of the IACC regularly feature presentations on topics relevant to the ASD community. These presentations include summaries of recent research and services activities, as well as discussions about the needs of individuals with ASD, their families, and service providers. By discussing issues in this public forum, the IACC is able to raise awareness of important needs and ultimately inform the committee’s strategic planning activities. In 2018 and 2019, IACC meeting presentations covered a wide range of issues that have been identified by community stakeholders as important, including childhood screening and early intervention, aggressive and self-injurious behavior, wandering behavior and premature mortality, health disparities, employment, housing, and disability financial planning.
In 2018 and 2019, the IACC chose to focus special attention on the areas of health outcomes and housing, all of which were highlighted in the 2016-2017 IACC Strategic Plan as areas of importance to the autism community but that remained gap areas. To this end, the IACC convened two working groups to focus on these issues. The Health Outcomes Working Group sought to address some of the major physical and mental health-related concerns of individuals with ASD and their families and the Housing Working Group sought to address the varied housing needs of individuals with ASD throughout the lifespan. Over the course of three workshops, these IACC Working Groups continued the national dialogue on these issues and began to identify strategies to address them. The committee is in the process of developing a report on physical and mental health issues in ASD. In the future, the IACC will continue to address these and other issues, potentially by working to develop recommendations to advance progress.
The IACC ASD Research Portfolio Analysis Report continues to serve as a mechanism to monitor federal ASD research efforts and assess ASD research funding trends in relation to the IACC Strategic Plan objectives. The 2016 edition of the IACC Portfolio Analysis Report provided analysis nine years of ASD research funding data as well as insight into the alignment of current research investments with the 23 new objectives in the 2016-2017 IACC Strategic Plan. Future iterations of the Portfolio Analysis will continue to track funding towards the new objectives and monitor annual goals towards the 2020 recommended budget of $685 million for ASD research.
Finally, The HHS Report to Congress on Activities Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder and Other Developmental Disabilities FY 2014 - FY 2018 summarizes federal efforts that address the objectives in the IACC in the 2016-2017 Strategic Plan. Federally-supported research is revealing more about how autism develops and what risk factors may be involved as well as advances in screening and diagnosis in ASD. Additionally, there are ongoing federal initiatives to increase access to efficacious services and supports as well as research efforts to increase knowledge on autism throughout the lifespan. The Report highlights federal collaboration and continued support for ASD activities that impact the ASD community.
The IACC continues to coordinate federal agency efforts on autism in partnership with the public stakeholder community and reaffirms its commitment to our core values: responding with urgency to the needs and challenges presented by ASD, pursuing excellence in research, building a spirit of collaboration, remaining focused on the needs of the community, developing strategic partnerships, and striving for equity. In the future, the IACC will continue to work towards enhancing autism research, services, and policy in an effort to meet the most pressing needs of the autism community.