Autism and Elections

Manila Bulletin, May 6, 2013 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Autism and Elections

As the nation prepares for the upcoming midterm elections, the autism community is reminded that our priceless votes determine the future society our children with autism will grow old in. The individuals with autism who suffer most from the lack of basic services or opportunities to be contributing members of society are very likely the ones who will not be participating in the political discourse. They are counting on the rest of us to select leaders who are cognizant of the national crisis that is autism.

This week's Angel Talker Mona Magno-Veluz, Autism Society Philippines' national secretary tackles election-related concerns of our community. Find her on Twitter: @mightymagulang.


Autism advocates at last year's US national elections, boldly recognized that autism is a far-reaching crisis that needs federal attention. The organization Autism Speaks ( called for the "Autism Vote," which urged candidates running for seats in the White House and the Senate to commit to three principles which can be the germ of a national autism policy:

* "The autism crisis demands a focused, coordinated and accountable response from public health agencies."

* Federal research funding should cover "a broader initiative to unlock the secrets of the human brain that would produce dramatic results."

* Health care and insurance reform should include affordable access to effective, "evidence-based autism treatments and applied behavior analysis" to benefit families with autism.

While we have not yet managed to gather families living with autism as a unified voting block in this country, our community has participated in many initiatives that leveraged the power of legislation to make positive change. Philippine Republic Act No. 7277 or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons is an example of how a law can open doors for the executive branch to make benefits and services available to families and individuals living with disabilities. This piece of legislation paved the way for many new programs like the creation of Persons with Disability Affairs Office in every local government unit, and the provision of discounts on basic commodities, among other PWD benefits.

This development, strangely, runs inverse to the decrease in number of PWDs who vote in national elections. According to a 2012 Social Weather Station survey, the figure had gone down from 60 percent in 2007 to 54 percent in 2010. The Commission on Elections had to launch an aggressive drive for PWD registration and empowerment over the last year. Private non-profits like the Fully Abled Nation campaigned for PWD education and enablement, which included an assessment of the situation of PWDs, focus group discussions and dedicated surveys nationwide.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Autism and Elections


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?