Katy Beh Neas monitors and analyzes federal legislation and regulations affecting children with disabilities and their families, particularly in the areas of autism, early intervention, early childhood education, special education and budget and appropriations. Neas was instrumental in directing activities to assure that the Combating Autism Act was passed and included provisions for funding services for individuals with ASD and is seeking legislative co-sponsors for the Expanding the Promise for Individuals with Autism Act of 2007. She also develops and implements strategies for influencing Congress, federal agencies, and others to increase opportunities for young children with disabilities and their families.
As Executive Vice President, Government Relations, Neas leads efforts to develop and achieve Easterseals’ public policy goals for federal, state and local government. Neas has been a member of Easterseals’ Government Relations team since January 1995. She has served as one of five co-chairs of the Education Task Force of the national disability coalition, Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, since 1996, and oversees the advocacy efforts of the 50 organizations that volunteer on the task force. In addition, she is an officer of the CCD Board of Directors.
She has co-authored, with the Center for Law and Social Policy, several policy papers and reports on early education and care opportunities for children with disabilities, including “Coming Together for Children with Disabilities State Collaboration to Support Quality Inclusive Child Care.” Prior to Easterseals, Neas was the associate director of the American Association of University Affiliated Programs for Persons with Developmental Disabilities. She also was legislative staff to Chairman Sen. Tom Harkin (D.-Iowa) of the Senate Subcommittee on Disability Policy between 1987 and 1991, where she worked on all disability legislation, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). She is a graduate of Georgetown University.
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