“The TRAIN Act will go a long way toward improving the lives of those affected by autism in terms of providing critical support and services," said Autism Society Vice President of Public Policy, Jeff Sell. “Now, it’s on to the Senate to finish the mission and get a bill to President Obama.”
The TRAIN Act would authorize grants to the national network of University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities to provide interdisciplinary training, continuing education, technical assistance and information in order to improve services for those with autism and developmental disabilities. The bill also provides additional funds for UCEDDs to partner with minority-serving institutions to provide services and conduct research and education focused on autism communities from racial and ethnic minority populations.
The bill also looks to address the unmet needs of individuals on the autism spectrum, a population of 1.5 million and growing, many of whom lack the necessary support to be able to work and live independently. With 1 in 110 individuals born with autism in America, it is urgent that the Senate pass this bill now to ensure the autism community receives the additional resources so clearly needed.
The bipartisan TRAIN Act was introduced by Reps. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) and Chris Smith (R-NJ) on July 15. It was approved by the House Subcommittee on Health on July 22 and unanimously approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee on July 22. The TRAIN Act was originally included in the House version of the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, but was rejected from the final health-care reform law. The next step is for the bill to be approved in the Senate.