About Autism Speaks


Our Vision

A world where all people with autism can reach their full potential.

Our Impact

Autism Speaks is enhancing lives tod​ay and accelerating a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow.

Our Mission

Autism Speaks is dedicated to creating an inclusive world for all individuals with autism throughout their lifespan. We do this through advocacy, services, supports, research and innovation, and advances in care for autistic individuals and their families.

  • Ensure access to reliable information and services across the lifespan
  • Support research and innovation that drives towards improved quality of life and well-being for individuals with autism throughout their lives
  • Leverage our assets through advocacy, partnerships and collaboration to support, extend and convene the work of service providers
  • Accelerate delivery of solutions for adult quality of life needs, including transition, employment, housing and health and wellness
  • Live and promote principles of diversity, equity, access and inclusion both in and outside of the organization

Our DEAI Vision and Purpose

At Autism Speaks, we are working to achieve a world where all people with autism, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, can reach their full potential - inclusive of all abilities, ages, races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, socioeconomic status, and belief systems.

Potential is unique to each individual and we strive to serve everyone with autism and their families by improving the representation of this diverse community in our content, expanding the reach of our resources and increasing inclusive practices in our workplace.

Deeply ingrained in the Autism Speaks mission is a commitment to creating a more equitable and accessible world for those we serve. By enhancing our solutions, embracing culture and elevating diversity inside and outside of our organization, we can guide individuals and families to more relevant resources that can help them overcome obstacles they may encounter and reach their full potential. This work will address biases and disparities that create obstacles, champion equity-focused innovations and further advance the lives of people on the spectrum.

Next 10 Vision

Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright, grandparents of a child with autism. Recognizing the need for a powerful voice Bernie Marcus donated $25 million to help financially launch the organization. To better advocate for enhanced services, inclusion, resources and support for the autism community and create a stronger, nationwide footprint, Autism Speaks merged with  three leading autism organizations, Autism Coalition for Research and Education (ACRE), the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) and Cure Autism Now (CAN). Since that time, Autism Speaks has continued working alongside other organizations and the autistic community to make extraordinary advancements for people across the autism spectrum.

Chief among Autism Speaks accomplishments are increased global awareness and inclusion, better understanding of the breadth and diversity of the autistic community, advocacy efforts to protect the rights of autistic individuals and increase access to services, support, and innovative research leading to more informed clinical knowledge and advancements in autism care. As we begin the final three years of our 10-year vision, Autism Speaks is dedicated to uniting with the community to amplify the voices and the needs of those on the spectrum, to accelerate solutions that provide faster, greater impact and ensure the highest quality services are available to all — from early diagnosis and timely interventions to adult quality of life needs, including transition, employment, housing and health and wellness. In collaboration with the autistic community and organizations committed to serving autistic people, Autism Speaks  will focus relentlessly on mitigating barriers and pursuing innovative scalable solutions, greater education and access and the escalation of initiatives to address areas of greatest need.

Together, we will build a path forward and drive change with the community by:

  • Collaborating with expert organizations to expand services and support available to low-resource communities.
  • Supporting rights-based and quality-of-care legislation.
  • Leveraging Autism Speaks’ assets to advance the overall autism field capacity.
  • Transforming the landscape of data and reliable information on services and resources for the autism community.
  • Facilitating research and innovation that drives improved well-being, accelerating adult quality of life needs.
  • Driving inclusion through autism-friendly, community-based and workplace employment-based designations.

These goals can only be achieved by working with partners, government and other organizations at the local, national and global levels who share our goals, ambitions and values. It is clear that the mission of Autism Speaks requires the organization to grow and build capacity  to accelerate progress in research and innovation and work together in partnership to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of all autistic people and their families over a lifetime. Together, we stand for a world of difference™. Together, we will succeed.