This is a blog post by Shelley Ourian, a young woman who participated on the stakeholder panel during the Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism Congressional Briefing last July in Washington, D.C.
It’s been a year since I was invited to participate in the Congressional Briefing sponsored by Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism (AFAA) in Washington, DC last July. I was a part of the Stakeholder Panel, along with a few other individuals living with autism and their family members. Looking back on the whole experience, I felt very humbled to be in the presence of many brave individuals, dedicated to make people more aware of the need for more funded programs for adults living with autism. The moderator, Linda Fiddle, founder of The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation, was such a wonderful addition to the Briefing. It was amazing how she took so much time to get to know all of us individuals and to guide us through the process of advocating for ourselves and for everyone with everyday challenges. If I could something like this all over again, I would do it in a heartbeat!
What I hope for in the future is for there to continue to be a positively growing progress in funding for programs for adults living with autism throughout the United States. I also hope for the neurotypical population to see those adults as equals…as human beings who can bring their own abilities and contributions to society.
To view the summary of the AFAA Congressional Briefing, visit the AFAA website at www.afaa-us.org.