Director of IU's Indiana Resource Center for Autism named to state bicentennial working group

  • Dec. 3, 2015


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Cathy Pratt, director of the Indiana Resource Center for Autism at Indiana University's Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, has been appointed by Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann to participate in an Indiana Bicentennial Legacy Project to develop a long-term vision for the future of Indiana around youth and education.

The project is an activity of Indiana’s Bicentennial Commission, co-chaired by former Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman and former Congressman Lee Hamilton. Its outcome will be to produce a number of “big ideas” for Indiana’s future that may drive positive change in Indiana’s third century.

Pratt, a board certified behavior analyst and immediate past chair of the National Autism Society, and others representing various subject areas from across Indiana will come together in a series of working sessions facilitated by Ellspermann. Other areas of focus include historical celebration; nature conservation; and community involvement. These ideas will be incorporated into a document to be published in the summer.

“I look forward to facilitating these visioning sessions where our experts will share and discuss their ideas and then identify the most promising ideas to put forward in the report,” Ellspermann said. “This report is not intended to be a political manifesto with specific policy recommendations. Rather, we see it as a resource document with a collection of big ideas and broad goals for Indiana’s future.”

The Indiana Institute on Disability and Community is a research center at Indiana University Bloomington. It is overseen and supported in part by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research.

Hamilton explained how he developed the idea. “Observing the Indiana Bicentennial is a time to celebrate our history and all of the past contributions that have made us the state and the people that we are today,” he said. “However, I believe that we miss an opportunity as we focus on our state if we do not also look ahead to our future. A study of our past is most fully meaningful if we use those history lessons as a foundation for our future. I see this visioning project as a way to capture the best ideas for Indiana’s future from today’s big thinkers across a wide range of economic, social and cultural issues.”

About the Indiana Resource Center for Autism: The Indiana Resource Center for Autism is one of seven centers at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Indiana's University Center for Excellence in Disabilities. The Indiana Institute is a leader in the transfer of research and new knowledge in disability from the university setting to communities in Indiana and nationally.

About the Office of the Vice Provost for Research: The mission of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research is to work with individuals, teams, centers, institutes and schools to foster excellence in research and creative activities and to offer support to faculty to successfully compete for external funding. The office provides consultation, proposal development services, competitive internal funding programs and research infrastructure for a wide range of research, scholarly and creative activities.

Indiana's 2016 Bicentennial Celebration: The 2016 Bicentennial Celebration will honor the state’s 200 years of history engaging all 6.5 million Hoosiers while leaving a lasting legacy for future generations. The Bicentennial Commission, chaired by former Congressman Lee Hamilton and former Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman, works with volunteer coordinators in every county to develop projects that are worthy of designation as “Official Bicentennial Legacy Projects.” All projects are categorized under four main themes set forth by the commission: youth and education; historical celebration; nature conservation; and community involvement. To date, 329 projects have been endorsed in 78 counties.

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Joel Fosha

  • Indiana Institute on Disability and Community
  • Office 812-855-6508