Today, State Reps. Bob Young (R-Green) and Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson) introduced HB 242, bipartisan legislation to designate April as Autism Acceptance Month in Ohio. April has been previously recognized as National Autism Awareness month, with April 2 being recognized as World Autism Awareness Day since 2008.
“I am the one who is truly honored to work on this legislation and herald the cause of Autism Acceptance. I want to say thank you to the Autism Society of Greater Akron, all of the Autism Society affiliates in Ohio, board member Dr. William Lanzinger for reaching out to me and their faith in me to sponsor this bill. I also want to thank my joint sponsor, Casey Weinstein, and our 23 co-sponsors both Democrat and Republican from all over the state of Ohio for joining me on this journey and showing Ohioans this cause is truly a bipartisan cause we can all rally around,” said Rep. Young. “We can all rally around the dignity of human life. We can all rally around the importance of inclusion where everyone participates in all that our communities have to offer. We can all rally around the idea of acceptance of those differently-abled than ourselves and acceptance of their rights to accessible, affordable, quality accommodations so they can live, work, worship, and fulfill their God-given potential. It is time to be more than just aware, but rather to accept and admire the wonders of an autistic mind. Thank you again, and I look forward to expeditious passage of HB 242, designating April as ‘Autism Acceptance Month.’”
“Awareness is always going to be the first step in the fight for justice and integrity,” said Rep. Weinstein. “By going from awareness to acceptance, we go from telling the autistic community ‘I acknowledge our differences,’ to saying, ‘I see you, I celebrate our differences, and I support you.’”
HB 242 now awaits referral to a House committee.