In July 2003, the Pennsylvania Autism Task Force was convened by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. More than 250 families, clinicians, educators and administrators from around the Commonwealth met to share their personal experiences and professional expertise in order to define a continuum of appropriate services for individuals living with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) across the lifespan, and their families.
Over the course of 18 months, the Autism Task Force examined Pennsylvania’s existing service delivery system and developed key recommendations for improving the organization, financing, and delivery of services and treatment for people living with autism.
One of the Task Force recommendations was to create Regional Autism Centers across the Commonwealth in order to increase the quality of, and access to, assessments, treatments, services and supports.
The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare’s Bureau of Autism Services implemented this recommendation by creating the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training (ASERT) Collaborative.
This innovative partnership between universities, hospitals, community groups and autism service providers is improving regional access to quality services and information to people with autism and their families across the state.