Advocate

Help to increase awareness and support for autism.

House of Representatives

Please use the following link to a site for identifying who your representatives are and how you may contact them.
Link to House of Representatives

Senate

Please use the following link to a site for identifying who your U.S. senators are and how you may contact them.
Link to Senate

http://www.legislature.ca.gov/port-zipsearch.html to search for State of California elected officials by zip code

September 10, 2013 
Congress has returned to Washington, so now is the time to urge YOUR Senators to co-sponsor ABLE! A bipartisan majority of the House–255 members–have signed on, now it’s time to focus on the Senate!

ABLE, or the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act, would allow families to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities, such as autism. The funds will cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, and transportation.

A majority of the House has already signed on to ABLE! Now it’s time to drum up support in the Senate!

How You Can Advocate

Grandparents can be the best advocates for grandchildren with autism. Increasing understanding and support for the autism community will ensure a better future for your grandchild. Grandparents are typically well connected in the community to politicians, business owners and community philanthropic organizations. Here are several simple, very effective ways you can help:

Sign up to be notified of any state or federal initiatives on the Autism Votes website  You will receive information about national and local legislative issues and learn how you can advocate for them. Contact your elected officials to encourage them to sign on to support any proposals that will benefit people with autism. Notify your family and friends about how they can help, too.
Contact business owners you know and local merchants or companies you patronize.  Inquire if they have jobs or training positions for people with developmental disabilities. If they are receptive to learning more, contact someone on the staff of a local employment agency that serves people with disabilities or a job recruitment specialist in a high school Transition Work Program who can explain employer benefits. Plan to join them at their appointment.

Contact your philanthropic organizations to offer speakers on autism topics.  Because autism is so prevalent today, there are many topics of interest to the public. Here’s an easy way you can increase information and support in your community. Ask local physicians, staff members at autism organizations or autism service providers if they will be presenters. Determine what timelines they have available for speaking engagements. Inquire if they have a favorite autism topic.  Here are some suggested topics:

  • What is Autism and How is it Diagnosed?
  • Early Signs of Autism: What Therapies are Available?
  • Autism: Its Affect on Families, Schools and the Workplace
  • Employing people with Autism:  What Jobs Optimize Their Skills? 
Call or write a letter to the president or program chairperson of the philanthropic organization and offer to provide a speaker for one of the meetings.  Follow up within 2 weeks with a call, email or letter to see if you can confirm a presentation date. Notify the speaker to schedule the event.   Ideas for additional topics and presentations can be found on the GAN website, www.ganinfo.org in Past Events.