Approach to Local ASD Change Includes Active LCCs
As of the end of July, six (6) of the seven (7) Local Community Cadre (LCC) regions have engaged in an LCC Summit to evaluate their current status (strengths, challenges, resources and gaps in services and supports for autism spectrum disorder (ASD)) and to reach consensus regarding the top priority needs the cadre can address in collaboration with HANDS in Autism®. Congratulations to the Central, East, Northeast, Southeast, Northcentral and Southwest regions! Our Northwest cadre has a scheduled summit in October—we’re excited to begin the process with them this Fall!
Now, the real work to foster positive change and local capacity has begun, and the state’s LCCs—each in their own unique place on the continuum of creating local change—are moving forward! With HANDS providing facilitation, technical assistance and resource support, each cadre is aligned with the LCC Core Four principles (Collaboration & Networking, Information & Dissemination, Training & Development and Best Practices & Innovation) in guiding their trajectory and sequence of activities:
The regional needs of the Cadres are informed by regional data derived from the statewide needs assessment as well as from ongoing discussion that begins at the time of the Summit. Through a facilitated process, the LCC members arrive at consensus regarding their prioritized needs, actions, and approach towards addressing these regional needs. HANDS in Autism® facilitates the process, providing support, resources and data-driven decision making to assist in development and progression as well as identification of resources needed for successful outcomes.
Each regional cadre will engage in activities relevant to their region’s identified needs. Activities will include brainstorming of ideas, responding to polls and surveys, reviewing of materials/resources, and providing input regarding strategy and dissemination of completed regional products, resources and events. These activities, occurring both between and within quarterly meetings enable cadre participants to choose the level and type of participation desired to inform and/or engage in addressing the regional needs.
Each regional cadre will also identify events free and open to their communities and hosted in collaboration with HANDS in Autism®. Cadre members partner by helping to identify events best aligned with regional goals, informing logistics of the events, and assisting with dissemination community-wide. HANDS in Autism® assists by providing organizational, trainer and PR support to ensure events provide needed community education, training and/or awareness as related to the goals of the Cadre. Examples of events recently scheduled or conducted across LCC regions include Next Steps™, LifeCourse™ and Make-it Take-it workshops.
HANDS in Autism® facilitates quarterly meetings for each LCC region to provide community stakeholders with a regular forum for engaging, networking and collaborating towards their goals. During meetings, brainstorming and interactive group work are conducted as a means of sharing, discussion, consensus building and planning. HANDS then provides support between meetings to ensure that information needed to move to the next step in product development and/or activity planning are realized
The participation of LCC members may vary over time. However, community stakeholders and members are provided a range of options to participate across meetings, events and activities as well as social media and other opportunities as they have an interest and capacity to do so; all levels of engagement are welcomed and needed. Further, Cadres are encouraged to continue networking outside of meetings to identify and engage additional LCC participants to assist in best working towards the regional goals and ultimately improving the lives and outcomes for individuals with ASD and their families within their community.