COMPTROLLER LEMBO TESTIFIES IN FAVOR OF INTERN PROGRAM FOR ADULTS WITH AUTISM
Wednesday, February 24, 2016 | Contact: Tara Downes (860.702.3308 | Tara.Downes@ct.gov)
Comptroller Kevin Lembo, in written testimony to the state legislature’s Public Health Committee today, expressed his support for legislation to establish a state plan to implement an internship program for adults with autism.
An Act Concerning an Internship Program for Adults with Autism would authorize the commissioner of the state Department of Developmental Services, in consultation with the commissioners of the state Departments of Social Services and Labor to develop a plan that would include identifying internship opportunities for adults with autism and a timeline for plan implementation.
Lembo, a father of three - including two adult sons affected by ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) – said that such programs are beneficial not only to those families directly affected by ASD, but for the entire community and economy.
"Opportunity for all is very important," Lembo said. "As a father of two sons who are affected by ASD, I recognize how especially important such an opportunity is for those on the autism spectrum. It was not long ago that my two oldest sons reached an age where they needed to transition into the community, find employment and live independently.
"Both of my sons ultimately made their transition to adulthood successfully - as both of them are working and living independently. In this process, I have seen the beneficial impact of internships and their potential to turn into competitive employment. An internship program would offer the opportunity for adults with ASD to realize their piece of the American Dream and become taxpaying members of our community. The program will also continue to raise awareness that those with ASD can live successful, independent lives if they have the right support."