Austim CARES becomes law

Published 2:30 pm Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Arc celebrates the enactment of the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support (CARES) Act of 2014.

This law reauthorizes the Combating Autism Act of 2011 for five years and makes a number of improvements to it. President Barack Obama signed the legislation into law on Aug. 8, 2014.

Since its original enactment in 2006, the law has significantly advanced the science and practice in the disability field by increasing the number, scope, pace, and coordination of research, surveillance, public awareness, and professional training efforts.

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Among its many notable achievements are an increase in the proportion of infants screened for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), an increase in the proportion of children diagnosed by the age of three, and continuing improvements to decrease the time between diagnosis and intervention.

The Arc commends the lead sponsors, Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Mike Doyle (D-PA), for their leadership in advancing this bipartisan legislation.

We also greatly appreciate the improvements that they made to the law — a name change that uses more respectful language, a designated ASD position in the Department of Health and Human Services to oversee the law’s implementation, increased representation of self-advocates and family members on the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC), and requiring a report on the needs of transitioning youth.

 Dad’s Belgian Waffle Breakfast Fundraiser

When: From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014, at The Austin Eagles Club, 107 11th Street NE, Austin, MN.

Tickets: Advance tickets are $8 for adults or $5 for children (6-12). Tickets are $9 for adults at the door and $6 for children. Children under five are free.
Tickets are available at The Arc office, The Austin Eagles Club or from any member of The Arc Board of Directors.

Take-Outs Are Available.

 Volunteers needed

Volunteers are needed for the Special Olympics Minnesota Area 10 Bowling Tournament on Saturday, Oct. 11, at Echo Lanes in Austin.

Please contact Emily Dierberger at or 612-604-1286 for more information.

 Halloween Dance

Get ready for the best party of the year, when we all get dressed up in wild costumes and dance the evening away to old favorites like “Monster Mash,” “Thriller” and other spooky tunes. People of all ages and abilities are invited to this great Halloween dance featuring great music,  costume contest, refreshments and prizes.

The dance will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 17, 2014, at the Mower County Senior Center. Cost is $3 per person

Costume Contest Judges:  James Wilcox, Laura Lee and Betsy Singer from KAAL-TV.

 Jamey Helgeson is the Program Director at The Arc Mower County and can be reached at or by calling 507-433-8994, Extension 102.  You can also visit our website ( and follow us on Facebook (