Washington Autism Alliance & Advocacy (WAAA) was well represented at the 2017 Autism CARES Meeting in Bethesda, MD earlier this week. The theme was “Pathways to Progress: Overcoming Barriers to Access, Translating Research to Practice, and Reducing Health Disparities.” Arzu Forough, WAAA Founder/CEO, delivered a mini keynote presentation discussing WAAA’s fierce advocacy efforts to help families overcome barriers to insurance benefits and health care for children on the spectrum.
The conference provides an opportunity for legislative grant recipients to share information and discuss emerging trends in research, training, and state systems change efforts. WAAA staff attending the meeting included Family Services Director Jen St. Cyr and Health Systems Program Manager, Mika Timmons, along with Arzu Forough.
Timmons delivered WAAA’s poster presentation as part of a topical symposia. She notes, “the Autism CARES conference was an excellent opportunity for WAAA to share ideas and discuss system challenges with other autism related organizations across the US and to connect with federal public health policy leaders.”
As WAAA’s new Family Services Director, St. Cyr observed, “I was inspired by the multi-cultural, multi-language inclusion at the conference. The energy was very solutions focused and I left inspired and full of hope.”