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Hearing our voices

Dear Editor:

On behalf of the Roaring Fork Autism Network, I would like to thank the cities of Aspen and Glenwood Springs and Aspen Meadows Resort for their assistance in bringing the Colorado Autism Commission to our valley to hear testimony regarding the needs of children and adults on the autism spectrum.

The Colorado Autism Commission has been tasked by Gov. Bill Ritter and Senate Bill 163 to examine gaps in services for children and adults on the autism spectrum and devise a 10-year state strategy by Oct. 1, 2009. Testimony taken at the Aspen and Glenwood locations will be used to document how the needs of rural and mountain communities differ from that of the Front Range and to help craft a 10-year strategy into one that fairly addresses the diverse geographic needs of all Coloradoans on the spectrum.



The Roaring Fork Autism Network, a parents support group, now has more than 40 families in the region with members on the spectrum. The generous support of meeting space and lodging for the commissioners allowed them to hear two days of direct testimony from parents, self-advocates, educators, business owners and professionals about the state of autism in the mountains. We are deeply thankful to the three commissioners who made the effort to include our voices, and we also would like to thank everyone who appeared to testify.

For those unable to testify in person, you are still highly encouraged to do so in writing online at http://www.coloradoautismcommission.org.




Allison Johnson and Erin Rigney, founders

Roaring Fork Autism Network

Carbondale


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