Legislative and Community Advocacy
The Autism Society of Florida advocates for and contributes to crafting legislation to protect, empower and improve the quality of life for people with autism in all aspects of life.
We forge relationships with legislators as well as people in our communities to educate, inform and create awareness about the needs of individuals with autism in Florida. We are committed to helping people advocate for their children and teaching self advocacy skills to adults on the autism spectrum.
If you share our passion, have skills to offer and are interested in volunteering to help advocate on a more global scale, contact us and put those skills to work. Let's work together to create a better more inclusive world for everyone.
CONTACT US AT: INFO@AUTISMFL.ORG
YOUR ADVOCACY IS NEEDED!
House Bill 1429 and Senate Bill 1568 would require schools to have an elopement protocol for when a student has gotten out of the area of safety with their teacher or other school adults.
In Florida, we have a CODE ADAM mandated program in all Federal Buildings, and many Retail Stores participate voluntarily. A CHILD that elopes in a Walmart is safer than a CHILD that elopes in a Florida Public School!!!
There are at least two school districts that already have this in their school board policies, but we want to make sure that ALL STUDENTS are protected, no matter where they live. There are currently 4 legislators as sponsors to these bills, two on the House side and two on the Senate side, but we need more sponsorship, and we need to ensure that the bills are heard in committee. If they are not put on the agenda in the committees, they will die.
Below are the committees that need to hear these bills:
1) Education Quality Subcommittee;
2) PreK – 12 Appropriation Subcommittee;
3) Education and Employment Committee
1) Education PreK-12;
2) Children, Families and Elder Affairs;
A bill has to pass 3 committees on each side (House and Senate) to be able to move on towards becoming a law.
If the chair decides that he/she doesn’t want to put it on the agenda, it dies.
Can you please call YOUR House member and your state Senator and ask them to sign up to become a cosponsor of this bill and to request that it be placed on the agenda? If you are on Twitter, please post there and tag your legislator – that seems to work even better than an email these days – plus PLEASE call them. Tip: If you call after hours, you can easily leave a message on their voicemail asking them to co-sponsor and request that it’s put on committee agendas. If we can get enough of them to sign onto the bill, we have a chance. This is NOT a partisan topic and it costs no money.
SADLY, a child with autism very recently died after wandering away from home and being struck by a car. This was not from a school, but it very easily could have been. https://www.fox4now.com/news/local-news/lee-county/12-year-old-in-lehigh-acres-dies-in-fatal-accident-crossing-lee-blvd#:~:text=LEHIGH%20ACRES%2C%20Fla.,to%20help%20with%20his%20funeral
THANK YOU for your advocacy!
CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS
It's important to contact you legislators and let them know where you stand on the issues.
They need to hear personal stories to inform and influence them. If no one calls them, then it's as if they're not needed and all is well with special education.