Public Policy and Government Relations at the Autism Society of North Carolina

Greetings from the desk of the Director of Government Relations!

My first couple of months at The Autism Society of North Carolina have been a whirlwind of activity. I’m grateful that I finally have a chance to start addressing policy questions in our blog and let everyone know what is happening in public policy for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder. My first posting will explain a bit about the reasons ASNC is involved in public policy, how we go about that work and how we decide what policy issues we want to target for change.

The Autism Society of North Carolina advocates for public policies that advance our mission to provide support and promote opportunities that enhance the lives of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families. Our policy advocacy is intended to ensure greater access to quality services and supports, stop policies that discriminate against people with ASD and educate policy makers to make informed decisions.  Staff meet regularly with elected officials and government agencies, monitor legislation, and inform our members about policy issues. ASNC encourages your involvement in the public policy process and helps provide information on how to be an effective advocate such as our Tips for Contacting Your Legislator .

Each year ASNC sets policy targets based on input from the community, members, the Board of Directors and staff.  Policy targets may vary from year to year based on feedback we receive, the resources available, and the political climate. In addition to the policy targets, ASNC addresses proposed public policy changes as they arise during the year. Hundreds of bills are introduced each legislative session and state agencies create new policies year round. The goal is to find consensus on policy issues, while keeping to our core mission of advocating for enhanced lives, better supports, and greater opportunities for people with ASD. When possible, we provide written policy statements outlining our views. Positions on policies may change over time as new information becomes available or as community values and priorities change.  ASNC posts public policy information on our website and will be posting updates here on the blog.  Stay tuned for new information weekly!

Please get involved by signing up for our email updates, making a committment to learn about policy issues and contacting your elected officials. As always, we value your feedback and participation.

Jennifer Mahan, Director of Government Relations

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