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Oregon Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders

The Oregon Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders (OCASD) has released an update on grants that will be given to organization that can provide basic autism training, employment counselors, assessments, transition training, and alternative pathways.

Commission Update Vol. 1 2013

What is the Commission Update?

This is the first edition of a regular email newsletter that will update you on the activities of the Oregon Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders and its Subcommittees. It is designed to be brief and whenever possible, provide you with links or contacts for pursuing more information.

What is in this edition?
• Background on the Commission
• Commission Grants summary

Background on the Commission

The Oregon Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders (OCASD) was established by Governor’s Executive Order in 2010 to “engage stakeholders, to identify priorities, to promote efficient use of limited resources, and to create and facilitate the implementation of a long term strategic plan.”

There are currently 13 Governor appointed members and 8 subcommittees. See the Commission website for list of Commission members and membership of Subcommittees.

In December 2010, the Commission submitted a report to the Governor identifying recommendations and activities designed to provide an outline for a 10 year strategic plan to improve the lives of people on the Autism Spectrum in the most effective and efficient way possible. This report may be reviewed on the Commission website at Since 2011, the work of the Commission has been focused on prioritized implementation of those recommendations. In April of 2013, the Commission submitted to the Governor an implementation update. The 2013 Implementation Report is also located on the Commission website.

Over 130 individuals have donated their time to be involved in the work of the Commission. Over 40 school districts, ESDs, professional and nonprofit organizations have been involved in reviewing, redesigning and implementing recommendations from the Commission’s 10 Year Plan. The Commission has worked closely with the Oregon Department of Education, and the Department of Human Services – Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and Office of Developmental Disability Services, and the Oregon Office of Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs at Oregon Health Sciences University.

Commission Grants Summary

In January, the OCASD prioritized a group of activities for implementation grants. These grants were all under $5,000 and were designed to move key activities forward. Below is a summary of each of the grants and the expected outcomes.

Autism 101 Basics Training:
The training will utilize online video footage to provide basic information for social service professionals about Autism Spectrum Disorder and how it may impact the individuals they serve. The training will demonstrate diversity, characteristics, and basic strategies for supporting an individual with ASD as well as a power point to supplement the video footage with specific topical information and resources.

Employment – Autism’s Unique Complexities
Specific Autism Spectrum Disorders website will be created for Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Services (OVRS) counselors. Website will include an online training module, resources, and a downloadable client questionnaire. In person trainings will be provided in 5 VR office locations in Oregon. It is intended that this resource will help improve employment outcomes for people on the Spectrum.

Educational / Medical Identification Assessment - Psychopathology
Two grants are setting the stage for a unified process for identifying who has ASD to be equivalent in medical and educational settings. One grant is determining the range of psychology expertise available across the state, especially in rural Oregon, to meet the competencies as defined by the Screening, Identification, and Assessment Subcommittee. The other grant is developing ed/med teams in four areas of the state. OCASD grant funds were combined with federal funds to provide training and technical support to the teams and to some individuals who are interested in creating teams.

Transition Portfolio
The grant will fund the final development, pilot implementation, teacher training, and evaluation of a web based transition portfolio for youth on the Autism Spectrum grades five through Transition. This personalized tool will help students, families, and teachers begin early planning for post school goals and provide a centralized location for key documents and videos useful for achieving employment and continuing education goals. The Portfolio will be available for use by schools statewide.

Alternative Pathway for ASD Specialization
Funding will be targeted to the final editing, piloting, and finalizing the Scoring Rubric for the alternative pathway for achieving the ASD Specialization. Once finalized, the pathway will be presented to Teacher Standards and Practices Commission.

Oregon Autism Commission Update
This grant is intended to provide ongoing communication with stakeholders about the activities and accomplishments of the Oregon Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders and the Subcommittees.

For more information contact: Kathryn Weit at [email protected]