The roots of the Commission stretch back to the spring of 2008 when the Oregon Autism Project, a workgroup consisting of legislators, agency personnel, and parent advocates was established.
The workgroup began investigating the current status of services to those experiencing ASD and charting a path toward a better future by reviewing the successes and failures of previous Oregon efforts to address the challenges presented by ASD. After months of research, meetings and a listening tour that reached Oregonians from every corner of the State the group presented their findings. Their report, Serving and Supporting People with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Their Families, identified issues concerning service to those with ASD and offered a broad vision of the changes that need to take place in order for Oregon to meet the needs of its citizens.
The work of the Oregon Autism Project highlighted the need for improved coordination of State services and for a continuation of efforts to devise an enhanced system of service. Governor Kulongoski began working with members of the Oregon Autism Project to establish a Commission that would identify the steps necessary to change the status quo and make a difference in individuals’ daily lives.
This led to an executive order signed in 2011. Soon after the Governor and Legislative leaders began the careful process of selecting members for the thirteen person Commission.