A Resolution Celebrating Autism Awareness Month

April 24, 2018

A Resolution Celebrating Autism Awareness Month

Whereas April is National Autism Awareness Month, promoting acceptance for individuals on the autism spectrum; and

Whereas 1 in 68 newborn children in the United States are on the autism spectrum, and currently more than 3 million Americans have autism, including 125,000 Virginians; and

Whereas persons with autism form an incredibly diverse community with vastly different strengths, limitations, and preferences from individual to individual; and

Whereas there are fundamental characteristics associated with autism, including difficulty understanding social interactions and norms, an intense reliance on routine or sameness, and repetitive behaviors that manifest themselves differently in each person, and

Whereas many individuals on the autism spectrum find certain challenges an insurmountable obstacle when trying to find or maintain employment on their own; and

Whereas a recent study by Drexel University's Autism Institute concluded that only 14 percent of adults on the autism spectrum had paid employment; and

Whereas young adults on the autism spectrum demonstrate the lowest employment rates among people with disabilities, and

Whereas over 70% of adults with autism want to work but are either unemployed or underemployed; and

Whereas individuals on the autism spectrum have amazing strengths and skills that often go untapped when the proper supports are not in place - which may include superior attention to detail, intense knowledge on a topic, or good long-term memory; and

Whereas hiring individuals with autism goes a long way towards achieving diversity on a worksite because each person with autism offers a valuable perspective that is unique from those of neurotypical individuals; and

Whereas existing incentives or strategies for businesses to hire persons with autism are currently under-utilized or unknown; and

Whereas modifying hiring practices to accommodate persons with autism, taking advantage of Work Opportunity Tax Credits, partnering with a non-profit resource provider, and working with a job coach have all proven to be effective in supporting persons with autism and their employers; and

Whereas 59% of individuals on the autism spectrum gained employment after receiving vocational rehabilitation services; and

Whereas the positivity and motivation of persons with autism in the face of great adversity is an inspiring lesson to us all,

Now therefore be it resolved that the Loudoun County Republican Committee celebrates April as Autism Awareness Month and encourages all citizens to exercise respect and compassion for our relatives, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and fellow Americans on the autism spectrum; and

Be it further resolved that the Loudoun County Republican Committee believes it is important to level the playing field so everyone has a chance at success and encourages businesses and employers to utilize existing incentives or strategies to assist them in hiring persons with autism, and

Be it further resolved that the Loudoun County Republican Committee encourages our elected officials at the local, state, and federal level to adopt policies that promote acceptance and facilitate greater access to employment for individuals on the autism spectrum.

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