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A message from Representative Edwards

Governor Kulongoski has signed Executive Order NO. 09-07, creating the Oregon Autism Commission! This is the result of months of work by members of the Oregon Autism Project and informed by the testimony of many of you during our statewide tour. It was the stories each of you shared that have helped lead to today’s signing. Attached is a copy of the Executive Order language. The Commission will be composed of 13 members, consisting of a self-advocate, parents, educators, human service personnel, and a variety of other individuals with experience and expertise with Autism Spectrum Disorder. It will be tasked with a variety of challenges aimed at improving the lives of individuals and families experiencing ASD. Ultimately members of the Commission members will be asked to accomplish one thing: to provide results. For too long confronting the challenges of ASD in Oregon has lacked a coordinated approach; leaving individuals, families, and countless committed teachers, caregivers, and advocates, to fight this battle on their own. The Governor’s action recognizes the need to focus our efforts and unite together toward a common goal. I would like to commend the Governor for answering our call and taking this first step toward helping our community. In the coming weeks the Governor’s office will be accepting applications to fill each particular Commission position. Interested applicants should be aware that this is a work-oriented commission. Successful applicants should have an established skill set and demonstrable experience in the particular slot which they are applying. No reimbursement is available and time requirement will be significant. I would encourage any of you that feel capable and up to the challenge to submit an application. I have attached an interest form which needs to be filled out in entirety and returned to the Governor’s office. If you have questions you can contact my office or refer to the Governor’s appointment website at http://governor.oregon.gov/Gov/boards.shtml. In addition to the Commission appointments, it is our intention that the Commission will establish sub-committees to address specific parts of the work plan. Those that submit an application for a place on the commission will be considered for these positions as well. Again, I would like to thank all of you for your involvement in this process. As the results of additional ASD related efforts bear fruit I will keep you informed. All the Best, Chris Edwards