SOCIAL SERVICES AND ADULT SUPPORTS SUBCOMMITTEE
The first priority of this subcommittee will be to determine how well state and private services are meeting the social service and support needs of children, families, and adults. (Examples include help with community engagement, transportation, housing, personal care, and employment.) The questions that need to be investigated might include, among others:
(a) Whether county developmental disability services eligibility staff are applying state rules appropriately in the case of autistic children and adults;
(b) Whether these rules need to be clarified in the case of individuals who have co-occurring mental health conditions or who were unidentified or misidentified as children;
(c) Whether individuals need enhanced support to apply for services;
(d) The level of training developmental disability and vocational rehabilitation workers (including personal service workers and brokerage staff) have received in autism spectrum disorder and how to support autistic clients;
(e) Whether there are sufficient numbers and types of housing available for autistic adults; and
(f) Whether there are other areas of significant need not currently being met by public and private programs.
Why This Is Needed. Anecdotal evidence suggests that a significant number of individuals are experiencing barriers to accessing services for which they are or should be eligible due to a lack of understanding autism on the part of developmental disability and vocational rehabilitation workers. This affects supports autistic individuals may need to apply for eligibility, application of existing eligibility rules in the case of autistic individuals, and how to communicate with and support autistic individuals with the implementation of existing programs. Within the autism community it is widely understood that there are significant gaps in both public and private services and supports for both children and the rapidly growing population of adults wtih autism. For example, a 2021 report by the Portland City Auditor identified the lack of attention paid to the needs of disabled individuals in Portland's emergency planning.
Suggested Members: Autistic youth and adults, parents or family members caring for autistic individuals, developmental disability workers, brokerage staff, vocational rehabilitation workers, and group home providers.