• Advocates for Autism of MA pushing for two bills to pass

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    BOSTON - More than 300 families of kids and adults with Autism packed the State House on Thursday.

    Advocates for Autism of MA (AFAM) is celebrating its 15th year of driving the passage of legislation and state funding to help individuals on the spectrum. This year, the group is advocating for two bills to pass this legislative session.

    The first, Nicky's Law, would establish an abuse registry of people substantiated of abusing people with disabilities.

    Related: 'Nicky's Law' would list those accused of abusing people with disabilities

    The second bill is a workforce development to provide a living wage to direct caregivers of individuals with autism and encourage more people to enter the profession, with 1 in 59 now living with Autism.

    This year's theme was, "educate, celebrate and empower."

    Boston 25 News anchor Heather Hegedus emceed the event alongside an individual with autism, Gyasi Burks-Abbott.

    State Rep. Kay Khan of Newton was honored with the Legislator of the Year Award for sponsoring legislation to benefit the autism community.

    >>>MORE: Calling for change: Parents push for bill to protect children with disabilities

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