During COVID19, our advocacy expanded to implementing the ADA requirement for Effective Communication to be provided by default in each state. This federal law is meant to accommodate Americans who have vision, hearing, or speech disabilities (“communication disabilities”) and use different ways to communicate. However, effective communication for autistic people may require closed captioning, and or time to communicate with someone who uses a communication board or device. Most affected are autistic adults who require communication support to access county benefits, state agency supports, medical care, education and employment.
When communication support is implemented in your state, a law enforcement officer will be able to conference-call a specialist when they encounter an autistic person. The same default response will be applied to a client who is applying for benefits, is asking for accommodations from their boss or university, and a person who needs to engage with the DMV. In other words, identifying as autistic will trigger the ADA implementation in your state as a covered Communication Support.
What is Communication Support?
- If a state employee accommodates the need for effective communication, they are also violating state law when they replicate the standards of the profession for speech, language, and hearing pathologist.
- Only a speech therapist is trained in social pragmatic language disorders as part of their mandatory degree requirements, and their overseeing body has already provisioned telehealth for shelter-in-place during COVID19.
Follow actions taken in each state below, and follow #communicationsupport on FaceBook for calls to action.
CA Bipartisan Budget Proposal submitted (12/15/20) to all 16 members of the Health Committee Primary jurisdictions are health care, health insurance, Medi-Cal and other public health care programs, mental health licensing of health and health-related professionals, and long-term health care facilities.
- Health Committee Meeting with Jordan Panana Carbajal (Dec 22) and Edwin Saucedo (1/14/21) at D – Assembly Member Rob Bonta, Rebecca Ayala with D – Assembly Member Miguel Santiago (1/7/21), Shanna Ezzell with D – Assembly Member Brian Maienschein (1/12/21), Nicole with D-Jim Wood (Chair), Renee Estoista with I – Chad Maye, Melinda with D – Cecilia M. Aguiar-Curry, Hannah Ackley with R – Frank Bigelow
- Budget Committee: Alex Walker (12/22/20) with D – Philip Y. Ting (Chair), Spencer Street (12/22/20) with R -Vince Fong (Vice Chair), Katja Townsend with R – James Gallagher, Kerida Moates with R – Kevin Kiley
- Human Services Committee: to D – Chris Ward, and meeting with Bethany Westfall, Legislative Director Bethany Westfall (12/18/20)
- December 18, 2020 meeting with Elena Perri, president of the ASCEND Group about resources for autistic adults in #Pennsylvania.
Please email info at our doogri.org address to volunteer or support our legislative advocacy.