(New York, N.Y.-Nov. 3, 2005) – Autism Speaks today launched a dramatically redesigned new website, www.autismspeaks.org, offering comprehensive, easy-to-navigate resources for those directly affected by autism, the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the nation, as well as compelling information to increase awareness among the general population.
Autism Speaks, co-founded by Bob and Suzanne Wright last February, is committed to raising awareness of the autism epidemic. One in 166 children is now diagnosed with autism. In the past decade there has been a nearly tenfold increase in the number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, with a new case diagnosed almost every 20 minutes.
“When my daughter was diagnosed with autism I was overwhelmed and didn't know where to turn for information, “ said Alison Singer, senior vice president of Autism Speaks. “Our goal in designing the new site was to create an organized source of reliable, authoritative information on treatments, medical options and legal rights, so that parents can make informed decisions.”
The website offers two distinct paths, one for families who want to “be informed” about autism and a separate path for those who want to “be involved” in the autism community or in Autism Speaks' many fundraising events.
The “Be Informed” area provides families with:
- Comprehensive, easy-to-read information on treatments available for children and adults with autism,
- Guidance on how to cope and grow with the disorder, as well as insight on education rights,
- A very active message board that encourages information sharing, counsel and a safe community to provide empathy and a sympathetic ear, and
- Short yet hopeful personal profiles contributed by users themselves of children affected by autism.
The “Be Involved” section offers:
- A calendar of upcoming events and seminars,
- Information about how to become involved in Autism Speaks' fundraising events,
- Valuable media updates,
- An action-oriented legislative information, and
- A secure online donation tool.
In addition, the site offers an Expert Find tool, which enables users to input their zip code and find treatment providers and medical professionals in their area. Also new to the site is an innovative personalized library function to bookmark especially useful pages for future reference.
Frequent news updates are an important part of the new design, and more is planned in that area. “So much is happening in the world of autism that it's sometimes hard to keep up,” noted Adam Glenn, web consultant for Autism Speaks and a former senior online producer with ABC News, who oversaw the launch of the new design. “In addition to the regular news items we currently have on the site, we're also planning news and medical research digests soon that will help our users keep better track of what matters to them.”
Autism Speaks is a not-for-profit, 501(c) 3 organization founded in February 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright. Bob Wright is Chairman and CEO of NBC Universal and Vice Chair of the Board of General Electric.Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of the autism epidemic and raising money to fund scientific research in autism. For more information, please visit http://www.autismspeaks.org/.
The Autism Speaks website was designed by Managing Director Ross Cooper and Executive Creative Director Angela Vecchio of Gold N Fish Marketing of Armonk, NY. Adam Glenn is Web Manager for Autism Speaks. Bill Shea is Creative Director and Monica Bartlett is Senior Writer and Creative Consultant.