Rhode Island | Autism Politics, News & History

Rhode Island | Autism Politics, Divergent News & History

Rhode Island became the 27th state to enact autism insurance reform on June 30, 2011.

The reform forced insurance providers to cover Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). ABA is known as Autistic Conversion Therapy in the Autistic Community. 

The Autism Votes initiative was powered by Autism Speaks and other non-Autistic parent-founded autism organizations.

The ’autism community’ referenced in articles here is a different community than the Autistic community. The ’autism community’ prevented Autistics from participating in legislation, Autistic healthcare initiatives and more in a meaningful manner. Instead, Autistics are used as a prop or token in these initiatives. 

Autism Insurance Reform that included ABA was being protested by Autistics as it was being hailed by non-Autistics in the ’autism community.’ These non-Autistic parent-founded organizations and people didn’t listen to Autistics then, and they aren’t listening now.  

When this legislation was implemented, Autistics were silenced in the national conversation, and our civil, human and disabled rights circumvented or denied. 

Today, in every state, Autistics and our real allies are working hard to introduce legislation to get ABA banned.

We will be heard. 


Rhode Island Legislative History

Rhode Island enacts ABLE legislation (July 14, 2012)

Gov. Chafee Signs Bills Strengthening 2011 R.I. Reform Law (June 28, 2012)

Governor Chafee Conducts Ceremonial Signing of 2011 Reform Bill (Aug. 11, 2011)

Autism Speaks Joins with the Rhode Island Autism Community in Applauding Governor Lincoln Chafee for Signing Senate Bill 107 into Law  (July 6, 2011)

Autism Speaks Joins Rhode Island Autism Community in Applauding House for Passing Autism Insurance Reform Bill  (June 22, 2011) 

Rhode Island Autism Coalition Honors Rep. Palumbo, Senator O’Neill (April 28, 2011)


Summary of the Rhode Island Autism Insurance Reform Bill (2011)

Read Bill Would Require R.I. Insuers to Cover Autism Treatment – The Providence Journal, March 26, 2010


Autism Politics

Rhode Island enacted autism insurance reform on June 30, 2011.


Legislation: HB 5275, SB 107HB 7260

People: Lincoln ChafeePeter Palumbo, Edward O’Neill, Teresa Paiva-Weed


Bill History

January 18, 2012: HB 7165 introduced in House; referred to House Health, Education and Welfare Committee

June 30, 2011:  Gov. Lincoln Chafee signs SB 107 Sub A into law. 

June 21, 2011:  HB 5275 approved 71-2 in the House; House, Senate versions of the bill await final concurrence.

June 16, 2011:  SB 107 (Sub A) approved unanimously by the Senate; final House vote set for June 21.

June 15, 2011:  HB 5275 voted out of House Health, Education and Welfare Committee; moved to House floor.

June 14, 2011:  SB 107 voted out of Senate Health and Human Services Committee with amendments (Sub A); moved to Senate floor.

April 6, 2011:  Hearing on SB 107 held before Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

March 30, 2011: Hearing on HB 5275 held before House Health, Education and Welfare Committee. Hearing scheduled for June 15, 2011.

March 14, 2011: HB 5275 referred from the House Corporations Committee to the Committee on Health, Education and Welfare.

February 8, 2011: Autism insurance reform bill, House Bill 5275, is introduced; referred to the House Corporations Committee.

January 27, 2011: Autism insurance reform bill, Senate Bill 107, is introduced in the State Senate; referred to the Senate Health & Human Services Committee.

June 25, 2010: Legislative session ends without passage of autism insurance reform.

January 28, 2010: Autism insurance reform bill, House Bill 7260, introduced in the state House


Rhode Island | The Latest …


The Autism Community Is Not The Autistic Community

* The “autism community” is not the Autistic Community. The autism community was created by non-Autistic led organizations and includes mostly parents, professionals and their friends. Most of what the world knows about autism is sourced from the non-Autistic “autism community.”

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