Federal autism committee reconvenes for the first time in two years

For the first time in years, a federal panel, the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, tasked with guiding the nation’s priorities on autism is set to hold a virtual meeting July 21 and 22. The panel is comprised of government officials and members of the autism community whose main job is advising the secretary of health and human services and coordinating federal activities related to the developmental disability. The last time the group met was in July 2019.

Since then, all of the committee’s members saw their terms expire. Congress approved the continuation of the committee as part of the Autism CARES Act, which took effect in October 2019, and nominations for new members were accepted between Nov. 19, 2019 and Feb. 21, 2020, but no new appointments were made.

Susan Daniels, director of the National Institute of Mental Health’s Office of Autism Research Coordination, which manages the IACC, told Disability Scoop that the COVID-19 pandemic played a role in the delays and things were further held up when the White House changed hands in January.

Now, officials say that new committee members will be announced in the coming weeks.

Alison Singer, who is president of the Autism Science Foundation served three terms on the IACC off and on between 2007 and 2019, said that she’s “thrilled” to see the committee resuming.

“The IACC plays a critical role in the autism community a