Following Hiatus, Federal Autism Panel Returns
A federal autism advisory panel will reconvene next month after going dark for more than a year.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said this week that the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee will meet Nov. 17 with new faces comprising more than half of the 15-member panel.
The IACC last met in July 2014, but the committee’s work came to a halt as Congress worked to renew a law now known as the Autism CARES Act, which authorizes the panel as well as a host of other federal autism activities. The law was approved in August 2014, but the IACC has remained silent since.
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Now, Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell has convened a new iteration of the committee tasked with making recommendations to Burwell and other federal officials on autism-related programs and activities.
Made up of government officials and members of the autism community, the IACC includes representatives of several federal agencies, autism advocacy groups and research institutions. Three members of the panel are individuals who are on the spectrum themselves.
New members of the committee include Samantha Crane of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Amy Goodman of The Arc, Shannon Haworth of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, Brian Parnell of the Utah Division of Services for People with Disabilities, Kevin Pelphrey of Yale University, Edlyn Peña of California Lutheran University, Louis Reichardt of the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative, Julie Lounds Taylor of Vanderbilt University and David Amaral of the University of California, Davis.
Bruce Cuthbert, who will become acting director of National Institute of Mental Health in November, will serve as chair of the IACC for the next year.