ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, advocates and other state lawmakers, held the 11th annual Autism Action Day at the State Capitol, marking Autism Acceptance Month. 

“There’s still some stigma associated with autism and that’s what we’re trying to overcome,” Santabarbara said. “We’re trying to make sure we create a more friendly environment, a more welcoming environment.”

The lawmaker said he’s working to pass more inclusive legislation that will improve the lives of people who are on the autism spectrum, including opportunities for jobs, expanding options for independent housing, education and making those resources more widely accessible. 

“We’ve done a lot but there’s much more to do, this is an ongoing process,” Santabarbara said.

News10 ABC’s Christina Arangio emceed the event, stressing the importance of continued inclusion and expanding opportunities for people with autism and special needs like her son, Luke. 

“The more included they are, the more successful they can become, the more fulfilled their lives will be,” Arangio said.

The event also recognizes different efforts for inclusion in the region with this year’s New York State Autism Action Award going to the Van Gogh immersive experience in Schenectady for their modified sensory friendly days held throughout the event.