New Laws Significantly Improve Services For Individuals With Autism
WEST WINDSOR –Six autism related bills sponsored by Senator Ellen Karcher, a leading advocate for disability awareness issues, were signed into law today.
“A diagnosis of autism or developmental disability presents real challenges for parents and caregivers,” said Karcher. “While the medical community seeks to find answers to the causes of autism and developmental disability, states have an obligation to promote programs which help those living with the disability. These new lifesaving laws will help families deal with the hardships of caring for individuals with autism.”
Governor Corzine signed into law the following bills:
• S-2258 incorporates autism and other developmental disability awareness and teaching strategies into both coursework for New Jersey instructional certificate programs as well as professional development programs
• S-2568 requires the Early Intervention Program in the Department of Health and Senior Services to undertake several initiatives to address the specific needs of children with autism spectrum disorders and their families
• S-2291 establishes the Asperger’s Syndrome Pilot Initiative in the Department of Human Services which would provide vocational, educational and social training services to persons with Asperger’s Syndrome, through community-based service sites
• S-2559 establishes a 13 member New Jersey Adults with Autism Task Force in the Department of Human Services to study, evaluate, and develop recommendations relating to specific actionable measures to support and meet the needs of adults with autism, including job training and placement, housing, and long-term care
• S-2569 provides for continued funding for autism medical research and treatment in New Jersey by eliminating the five-year “sunset” for the $1 surcharge for each motor vehicle fine and penalty imposed by the court
• S-698 expands and revise the membership of the Governor’s Council for Medical Research and Treatment of Infantile Autism and revise the name of the act and the Council to delete the reference to “infantile”
“Until we can offer a cure, New Jersey must offer a helping hand to families and individuals living with autism and developmental disability,” said Karcher.