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Pittsford to adopt designation as an 'Autism Friendly Community'

Oct 15, 2019

Credit town of pittsford.org

The Town of Pittsford has expanded its ability to provide services to people who are on the autism spectrum.

A proclamation is expected to be adopted to that effect on Tuesday night.

That’s part of an established program that lets a municipality declare itself as being ‘Autism Friendly,’ and Lawana Jones, President and CEO of the Autism Council of Rochester says it includes training personnel in departments that deal with the public a lot.

“We trained the library, the recreation department; these are folks that interface with the public, and specifically, children with special needs, so it was very important that we had the time to go through this program with them. And we’re looking at doing some additional programs, so it kind of opens the door for some more opportunities,” Jones said.

Jones says that one reason these programs are so valuable is that the number of people with autism has been increasing. 

Credit www.theautismcouncil.org

“We’d say maybe over 30 years ago the prevalence of autism was about 1 in 10,000 and here in 2019, we’re looking at 1 in 59 individuals being diagnosed with autism. So the likelihood of us interfacing in our community with folks that have autism, or on the autism spectrum is very high,” Jones explained.

Jones says her organization does provide training for interested municipalities, and she says several local communities have already taken advantage of that program.