Monday, October 31, 2016

Survey Response: Craig Bowden Candidate for US Congressional District #1

Survey Response: Craig Bowden Candidate for US Congressional District #1

Candidates for the November 2016 elections were given the opportunity to answer a few questions relating to autism.  The following are Craig Bowden's responses.

Healthcare:  44 states (including Utah) have enacted legislation requiring health insurance to cover autism.  State law cannot affect self-funded plans, which fall under federal ERISA rules.  Would you support adding autism coverage to federally-regulated plans?

Craig Bowden:  Yes. I believe that people on the spectrum should be covered.

Education:  Over the past 4 decades, the ADA and IDEA have dramatically improved access to education for students with disabilities, including those with autism.  Many students with autism need the support of an IEP or 504 plan in order to access an education.  Although IDEA requires states to provide services and provides some federal funding, that funding has never reached the originally intended 40%.  In 2016, IDEA is funded at around 16%.  Would you support efforts to increase federal funding for IDEA?

Craig Bowden:  First we need to find out where the money allotted actually went. Before
we can ever discuss an increase in spending, especially where we are
sitting at nearly $20 trillion in debt, we need to identify where money
is going.

Employment:  In the years following high school, 2/3rds of people with autism are neither employed nor continuing education.  “H.R. 5587: Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act” passed the House in September.  It supports career and technical education (CTE) programs and helps students with autism gain skills necessary for employment.  Do you support such legislation?

Craig Bowden:  Yes.

Wandering:  Almost half of children with autism wander from a caregiver.  “S. 2614: Kevin and Avonte’s Law of 2016” passed the Senate in July.  It provides federal support for equipment and training for first responders and schools to combat wandering.  Do you support such legislation?

Craig Bowden:  100%. Law enforcement and first responders need to have adequate
training to ensure they are prepared to interact with individuals in the

Personal experience:  The autism rate in Utah is 1 in 54.  Your family and social circle doesn’t have to be very large before it includes someone with autism.  If you want to share any personal or professional experience with autism, please do so.

Craig Bowden:  My step son Brandon is autistic. I personally understand the challenges
people in this community face, as I am one of them. It is important to  me to ensure that there is equal opportunity for him and others in our  state and nation. Especially in education where it takes a dedicated  group of teachers, counselors, and administration working with the
parents and child to bring the best outcome possible for them.