President Barack Obama has announced his intent to nominate 8 new members to the National Council on Disability, including Ari Ne’eman, Founder and President of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN). In a press release, President Obama said, “I am grateful that these fine individuals have chosen to serve in my administration. They will bring a depth of experience and valued perspective to their roles, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”
Mr. Ne’eman is the first diagnosed Autistic presidential appointee, and, through the organization he founded, works to fight against aversives, restraint, and seclusion of individuals with autism. Mr. Ne’eman also serves as Vice Chair of the New Jersey Adults with Autism Task Force, where he represents autistic adults in reviewing the state’s autism services. He also previously served on the New Jersey’s Special Education Review Commission, where he authored a minority report on the topic of aversives, restraint and seclusion. Mr. Ne’eman previously served as the Policy Workgroup Leader for the Youth Advisory Council to the National Council on Disability. He is a board member of TASH and the Autism National Committee. In 2008, he received the HSC Foundation “Advocates in Disability” Award.
All of us at the Autism Science Foundation congratulate Ari on this important appointment.