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Autism CARES Act Signed into Law

Extends Federal Commitment to Critical Autism Programs

On September 30, 2019, H.R. 1058, the “Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support Act of 2019” or “Autism CARES Act of 2019” was signed into law. This bipartisan law will expand research and coordination, increase public awareness and surveillance, and expand interdisciplinary health professional training to identify and support individuals with autism and their families.

What to know about the new law:

  • Authorizes programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) through Fiscal Year 2024, and reauthorizes and expands the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC)
  • Adds new members of IACC from the Departments of Labor, Justice, Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development
  • Increases from two to three IACC members who are self-advocates, parents or legal guardians and represent advocacy/service organizations
  • Directs the Health and Human Services Secretary to prioritize grants to “rural and under-served areas”

The Act also requires a comprehensive report to Congress on the demographic factors associated with the health and well-being of individuals with ASD, recommendations on establishing best practices to ensure interdisciplinary coordination, improvements for health outcomes, community-based behavioral support and interventions, nutrition, and recreational and social activities.

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