Since March of 2018, Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) board and staff have been working collaboratively with diverse stakeholders to propose a structure for an autism council that can be a fair, appropriate, representative resource for legislators and administrators in their efforts to improve the lives of people with autism and their families. AuSM shares a vision for a council that can be inclusive, well-informed, cooperative, and productive. We are deeply supportive of the efforts made by the diverse working committee thus far to make this vision a reality.
Due to unexpected changes in the proposed structure of the group, Jean Bender, AuSM Board of Directors President and Advocacy Committee Chair, has been appointed as a part of a central leadership team of the proposed Minnesota Autism Council. In any role, AuSM priorities will not change. Whatever next steps face the group, AuSM will remain committed, as always, to advocacy for the inclusion of diverse and informed voices at all levels: voices of adults and families with autism, voices of those from underrepresented groups, voices of those who share our commitment to a strong, collaborative, supportive autism community.
AuSM is aware that members of the working committee and the community have voiced concerns about these developments. AuSM takes these concerns seriously, and we encourage all interested community members and representatives to share any ideas with Senator Abeler, and to share with the Autism Society of Minnesota, so that we may be able to continue to fulfill our role as an ally and advocate for the broad and complex Minnesota autism community.