Arc Tank 2018 Finalist: Project ASSERT

I am thrilled to share that I have been chosen as a finalist in this year’s Arc Tank competition.

The purpose of the Arc Tank is to encourage the most innovative ideas that will positively impact disability services—making a world of difference for individuals with disabilities and their families.

At the end of November, I will be presenting my idea, described below, along with six other finalists to a panel of experts and a live audience.

Autism Spectrum Support Emergency Response Teams (ASSERT)

Autism Spectrum Support Emergency Response Teams (ASSERT) will improve access to services during times of displacement due to disaster or emergency. As part of the May Institute’s programs, ASSERT will support the behavioral, sensory, and communication needs of people with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities by training public health and emergency workers across the disaster response cycle and forming regional ASSERT functional access teams.

I am fortunate to be currently piloting this project with Western Massachusetts Medical Reserve Corp (WMMRC). The ultimate goal is to expand this on a national level.

It has become clear through this process that understanding autism and having a toolkit, especially in times of crisis, is a great benefit to emergency responders.

Please contact me if you’re interested in learning more about becoming an ASSERT volunteer.

Paul Simeone, MA, CCC-SLP, ATP

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