Why Public Policy Matters

Federal and state laws and regulations determine many components of disability services. These include funding, eligibility criteria, availability and quality of services, and a variety of other mandates that directly impact the lives of every child and adult with autism.

Advocating for changes to policy is a dynamic and complex process. It requires an insider’s perspective on the state capital. It requires subject-matter expertise and the ability to navigate legislative and regulatory roadblocks. It takes experience and relationships with key decision makers.

Our extensive public policy work involves a collaborative approach, keen analysis of trends, issues and their impact, and thoughtful strategy. Our aim is to influence laws, regulations, and policy that provide more meaningful outcomes. To learn more about the state policy actions we are currently monitoring, please use the links below:

For more information about our Public Policy efforts, contact publicpolicy@autismnj.org or call 609.588.8200 x10034

Our Current Priorities

Always mindful of the broad and ever-changing public policy landscape, Autism New Jersey’s public policy priorities are generated through many sources of information. However, there is no more important source than the autism community itself. Through our Helpline 800.4.AUTISM, Autism New Jersey listens to the needs of the autism community. Informed by your calls, we selected the following public policy priorities:

Our Current Appointments

Attorney General’s Mental Health and Special Needs Steering Committee
Dr. Suzanne Buchanan, Committee Member
State Board of Applied Behavior Analyst Examiners
Dr. Suzanne Buchanan, Chair
New Jersey Department of Education Autism Quality Program Indicators Advisory Panel
Dr. Suzanne Buchanan, School-Age Committee Member; Lauren Frederick, Youth Committee Member; and Amy Golden, Youth Committee Member
New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities Behavior Management Committee
Lauren Frederick, Committee Member
New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities Support Coordinator Competency and Capacity Building Steering Committee
Jon Gottlieb, Esq., Committee Member
P.L. 2023, c. 108 Guidance Committee (autism notation on State IDs)
Dr. Suzanne Buchanan and Dr. Joe Novak, Advocacy Organization Representatives

Support Our Efforts

Supporting our public policy work is a powerful way to advocate for change and influence the direction of government policies that improve the quality of life for individuals with autism. The impact of your donation transcends Autism New Jersey and our community. Your support sustains Autism New Jersey’s efforts to raise awareness and educate state officials about the autism community’s complex needs, leading to more thoughtful and comprehensive state-level policy development.

How You Can Help

Autism New Jersey is a financially transparent organization with a history of accomplishments.

Kevin Brothers

“Autism New Jersey has the connections and expertise to effectively initiate and respond to proposed policies that increase access to science-based intervention. Their analysis, consensus building, and strategic recommendations are exactly what our community needs.”

Kevin Brothers, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Executive Director, Somerset Hills Learning Institute

Michele Adubato

“Autism New Jersey knows how to get things done in Trenton. They have the passion and expertise to evaluate and change policies that improve the lives of children and adults with autism throughout the state. I am proud to partner with them.”

Michele Adubato
Chief Executive Officer, North Ward Center

Helen E. Hoens

“As a former Board Member and the mother of an adult son with autism, I know firsthand Autism New Jersey’s extraordinary level of expertise and dedication as well as their positive impact on our families. With this bold new initiative, we can all count on Autism New Jersey to continue to lead the way to better lives and brighter futures for our sons and daughters.”

Helen E. Hoens, Esq.

Joseph J. Roberts, Jr.

“Autism New Jersey understands the priorities of those they serve and can bring about real change that transforms lives. I’m proud to be associated with this organization and the tremendous work they do.”

Joseph J. Roberts, Jr.
Former Speaker of the NJ General Assembly