The mission of the Policy and Analytics Center (PAC) is to utilize research methods and innovative analytic strategies to support the development of effective social and health policy in cities, states, and across the US.
Click below to learn more about the Policy and Analytics Center projects.
The ASERT Collaborative is funded by the Bureau of Autism Services (BAS), Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. The mission of the ASERT Collaborative is to enhance the lives of Pennsylvanians with autism of all ages and abilities by:
- Improving regional access to quality services and interventions
- Providing information and support to families
- Training professionals in best practices
- Facilitating connections between individuals, families, professionals, and providers throughout the commonwealth
The ASERT Collaborative has a statewide Resource Center, available online by email (English: info@PAautism.org or Spanish: ASERTespanol@paautism.org) or by phone (877-231-4244), that connects individuals with autism, their families, and professionals to relevant information, events, trainings, and other opportunities. With a database of information, ASERT resource specialists are able to provide up-to-date and accurate information and resources. ASERT supports individuals with autism, families, professionals, and community members to learn more about services and resources available, and assist them in navigating the service system in Pennsylvania.
Please visit www.PAautism.org or follow us on Twitter @ASERT_PAautism and Facebook @ASERTPAautism to learn more about the ASERT Collaborative. Specific questions or training requests can also be emailed to info@PAautism.org.
ASERT Collaborative Ongoing Projects
- Outreach and Training: The ASERT Collaborative offers free tailored trainings and presentations for individuals with autism, families, professionals, and community members on a variety of topics including autism and the justice system, introduction to autism, and Medicaid-funded programs for children and adults with autism.
- Resource Development: The outreach and resource services available through ASERT connect existing resources and pockets of expertise, and help address regional gaps in effective services and supports. The ASERT Collaborative has created a library of resources in a variety of topics that are available on the ASERT website (paautism.org). Topics include: transportation, justice, safety, physical health, mental health, and more.
- Statewide Resource Center and Website: Through the toll-free number, individuals, professionals, families and community members can contact the ASERT Resource Center and get connected with a Resource Specialist who can provide access to available resources by region and statewide. To contact a Resource Specialist, call 877-231-4244 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The website is a central resource for families, providers, community members, and self-advocates, and allows you to access a broad array of information to help meet the needs of those living with or serving people with autism via the Internet. The website is an integral part of ASERT’s effort to broaden outreach to individuals with and affected by autism. The website hosts an online resource database and is continually updated with news, events, and trainings.
- Data Analysis: The Pennsylvania Autism Census and Pennsylvania Autism Needs Assessment data can be customized and catered data requests are available. Contact email@example.com to request specific data or reports.
- Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) Module Training Series: All Behavioral Health-Managed Care Organizations and providers enrolled in the Medical Assistance (MA) Program who provide behavioral health rehabilitation services (BHRS) to children under age 21 must obtain training and certification from Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuses Services (OMHSAS). This includes the Bureau of Autism Services: Office of Developmental Program (BAS: ODP) Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) Training. The ASERT Collaborative, in collaboration with BAS: ODP, is developing web-based FBA training modules that will build capacity, reach a larger audience, ensure content comprehension and retention of training material, and ensure a level of competency verify ability of the practitioner after training, and measure practitioners’ ability to maintain fidelity & track effectiveness of the training itself.
- The Pennsylvania Autism Needs Assessment: The 2017 Pennsylvania Autism Needs Assessment is a follow up to the 2011 Pennsylvania Autism Needs Assessment. The information collected will help stakeholders across Pennsylvania to better understand and work to address the changing needs of individuals impacted by autism. The Pennsylvania Autism Needs Assessment seeks to understand the needs of people with autism and their families as this population continues to grow and change. A website that will house results, reports, and other data analysis and information learned from the 2017 Pennsylvania Autism Needs Assessment is in progress.
- Turcotte, P., Shea, L.L. & Mandell, D. J (2018). School Discipline, Hospitalization, and Police Contact Overlap Among Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 48: 883.
- Turcotte, P., Mathew, M., Shea, L. L., Brusilovskiy, E., & Nonnemacher, S. L. (2016). Service Needs Across the Lifespan for Individuals with Autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 46(7):2480-9.
ASERT Collaborative Completed Projects
- Pennsylvania Autism Census: In 2005, the Bureau of Autism Services within the PA Department of Human Services commissioned an administrative census of the number of individuals with autism receiving services in Pennsylvania. The 2014 Pennsylvania Autism Census Update was released in fall 2014 by the PA Department of Human Services, led by the ASERT Collaborative. The Pennsylvania Autism Census is an administrative count of the number of individuals who are receiving services in public service systems. The 2014 PA Autism Census Update used data from multiple Pennsylvania systems. The full report, previous report, and a clickable map by county are available at www.paautism.org/census.
- Adult Community Autism Program (ACAP) and Adult Autism Waiver (AAW) Focus Groups: The Bureau of Autism Services (BAS) commissioned the ASERT Collaborative to conduct a series of focus groups in 2013-2014 to engage the two current BAS programs: the Adult Autism Waiver (AAW) and the Adult Community Autism Program (ACAP). ASERT facilitated focus groups with individuals who directly interact with these programs including: individuals with autism, families, service providers, and program administrators. Through these focus groups ASERT gathered detailed knowledge about their experiences with AAW and ACAP. The results of this project informed program planning and helped to bridge program engagement with BAS, ASERT and service providers. Results of this initiative were communicated to individuals and families through community meetings and a formal report. In late 2015, ASERT conducted a second round of ACAP focus groups to learn if and how program experiences have changed since the first focus groups.
- State Policy Summit: Innovations in Adult Programming: The inaugural Policy Summit: Innovations in Adult Programming, sponsored by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT) was held in Philadelphia in March 2016. The Policy Summit brought together experts from across the United States who specialize in programs and policy development and implementation for adults with autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, other developmental disabilities, and mental health diagnoses. The purpose of the Policy Summit was to bring these experts and policy leaders together to discuss ways to address pressing issues faced by policy and decision-makers and to generate new ideas in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia based on the experiences of experts from around the country. For more information visit: http://www.paautism.org/training-events/Summit.
The Philadelphia Autism Project is a citywide initiative established by the office of former Councilman-At-Large Dennis M. O'Brien and continues to be supported through the office of Councilman-At-Large Derek S. Green. The Philadelphia Autism Project is conducted in partnership with the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS). The goal of the Philadelphia Autism Project is to examine the services and supports for individuals and families who are living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Philadelphia. This effort represents the first of its kind at the municipal level and is working in conjunction with the ASERT Collaborative. The project delivered a wide-ranging final report to identify the most effective, efficient, and comprehensive system of care for individuals with ASD and their families living in Philadelphia. Please visit www.phillyautismproject.org or follow us on Twitter @PhillyAutism and Facebook @PhillyAutism to learn more about the Philadelphia Autism Project initiatives. Specific questions or training requests can also be emailed to PhillyAP@drexel.edu.
The Philadelphia Autism Project supports individuals with autism and their families living in Philadelphia through:
Cooking with Confidence
Although the last two decades have seen an increase in awareness and the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder, policy and practice to meet the needs of this group have not consistently kept pace. To combat part of this problem, the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) has awarded a competitive grant to local leaders who are working to improve interactions between autistic individuals and the justice system.
The award will fund a two-day conference in Summer 2020 that will be led by Lindsay Shea, DrPH, director of the Policy and Analytics Center at the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute and Cpl. John Burke, an instructor at the Philadelphia Police Department Training and Education Services Bureau and brings together an group of international experts:
- Alexandra Slaughter, MA, University of Houston
- Amy Blank Wilson, PhD, University of North Carolina
- Aubyn Stahmer, University of California, Davis
- Catherine Cheely Bradley, PhD, Medical University of South Carolina
- Chloe Holloway, PhD, University of Nottingham
- Connie Hassett-Walker, PhD, Kean University
- David Mandell, ScD, University of Pennsylvania
- Dennis O’Brien, Community Behavior Health
- Derek S. Green, JD, Philadelphia City Councilmember-At-Large
- Emily Zimmerman, JD Thomas R. Kline School of Law, Drexel University
- Frank Iannuzzi, JD, Office of Philadelphia City Councilmember-At-Large Derek S. Green
- Icylee Basketbill, Philadelphia Autism Project
- Juan Bornman, PhD, University of Pretoria
- Kate Hooven, MS, Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training (ASERT) Collaborative
- Katie Maras, PhD, University of Bath
- Khylil Robinson, ASDNext
- Laura Crane, PhD, University College London
- Mark Salzer, PhD, Temple University
- Matthew Lerner, PhD, Stony Brook University
- Melanie Clark Mogavero, PhD, Georgian Court University
- Michael Gamel-McCormick,PhD Office of U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey
- Michele Abraham-Montgomery,Spectrum Success 911
- Nina Wall, MSS, Pennsylvania Bureau of Supports for Autism & Special Populations
- Robert Schmus, MSW, Youth Consultation Service
- Roslyn Talley, Philadelphia Police Department
- Sarah Mire, PhD, University of Houston
- Shane Carey, Chambers of Justice Kevin M. Dougherty
- Stacy Nonnemacher , PhD, Pennsylvania Bureau of Supports for Autism & Special Populations
- Stephen Shore, EdD, Adelphi University
- Vicki Gibbs, Autism Spectrum Australia
Please check back for more information and resources!