Autism Speaks announced this week that it has awarded more than $700,000 to 141 local organizations through its Chapter, Neighborhood and Regional Grant programs. Similar to that of the annual Family Services Community Grants program, the focus of these programs is threefold:
- to promote local services that enhance the lives of those affected by autism
- to expand the capacity to effectively serve this growing community
- to increase the field of service providers in the four chapters
Out of the 650 eligible applications received, 141 organizations from around the country were awarded grants of up to $5,000 for programs addressing the areas of education, recreation and community activities, young adult/adult services and technology. Funded programs include museum inclusion programs; iPads and SmartBoards for classrooms; mentoring programs with peers; training for Spanish speaking families; theatre programs; support groups and more.
The Chapter Grants application was open to organizations in the areas of the 11 Autism Speaks Chapters: Carolinas, Chicagoland, Long Island, National Capital Area, New England, New Jersey, Ohio, South Florida, Southern California, St. Louis and Western Pennsylvania. A total of 54 Chapter Grants, made possible through a contribution by Autism Speaks partner Toys“R”Us, were awarded. (Note: The 22 grants awarded in the Southern California chapter were funded by the Neighborhood Grants program.)
The application for the Neighborhood Grants program, funded through Autism Speaks’ partnership with Sprouts Farmers Markets, was open to organizations in the following states where Sprouts stores operate: Arizona, California, Colorado, Oklahoma, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. A total of 66 Neighborhood Grants were awarded, including 22 located within the Southern California chapter of Autism Speaks.
To ensure organizations around the country were able to apply for local grants, the Regional Grants program was open to organizations outside of the chapters and the Neighborhood programs. A total of $25,000 was distributed to each of the four regions: Midwest, Northeast, Pacific Northwest and Southeast. A total of 21 regional grants, also made possible through a contribution by Autism Speaks partner Toys“R”Us, were awarded.
Grants were selected by local volunteers.