WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) celebrated the work of its North Carolina affiliate organization, FASDinNC, highlighting their hard work and advocacy on behalf of those with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), an umbrella term describing the range of effects that occur in an individual who was exposed to alcohol before birth.
During the affiliate summit in June, FASDinNC was busy on the hill advocating for support to further awareness and research regarding Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). FASDinNC Coordinator Amy Hendricks met with Senator Richard Burr’s staff, where she highlighted that “Continued federal funding for the CDC and NIH FASD research are essential to help prevent FASDs and create new interventions for individuals affected by FASDs.”
“One of the biggest issues is the amount of information available,” said Montgomery Lee, an Education Specialist with FASDinNC. Elizabeth and her son Mak, who has an FASD, attended a meeting with staff in Senator Thom Tillis’ office. “It was important to us that the Senator’s staff took the time to listen and get a comprehensive understanding of the challenges living with an FASD brings.”
FASDinNC continues to do vital work on this issue at home. Outreach efforts include the delivery of trainings for professionals that work with women of childbearing age, as well as a social media campaign this past spring that reached over 225,000 18 – 44 year-old women across NC in just three months. In conjunction with this campaign, posters were printed and promoted by All Over Media on the back of bathroom stall doors. This signage appeared in restaurants and bars in Raleigh/Durham, Greenville, Wilmington and Fayetteville and were visible to the public for three months at each location, reaching up to 15,000 people per location per month. In addition, twelve NC Preventing Underage Drinking (PUD) Coalitions received and began distributing 800 pieces of FASDs materials/posters to convenience stores in communities across the state. The coalition members also began checking for mandated warning signage in ABC stores. Hendricks believes strongly that all places that sell and serve alcoholic beverages should have signage in prime view that promote the message that alcohol and pregnancy do not mix.