NEW YORK, NY (September 11, 2008) – Autism Speaks, the nation's largest autism advocacy organization, announced today the launch of new Community web pages on its web site, autismspeaks.org. The state-specific web pages provide a new entry point for members of the autism community to get connected with local awareness and advocacy opportunities, service providers and other resources, and Autism Speaks-sponsored events, in addition to learning about Autism Speaks-funded scientific research taking place in their community.
To access the pages, visit http://autismspeaks.org/community/chapters and then click on a state on the interactive map. Information for each state is organized into nine categories: Home and Local News, Resources, Advocacy Efforts, Science in Your Area, Autism Speaks Sponsored Events, Volunteer Opportunities, Contacts, Host an Event, and Community Calendar.
- Home & Local News – highlights upcoming or past Autism Speaks-sponsored events and reports total amounts given back to the communities within the state.
- Resources – identifies local Autism Speaks Community Grant recipients and helps direct people to resources available within the Family Services section of the Autism Speaks website.
- Advocacy Efforts – information about state-specific legislative efforts, as well as a status report on federal legislation and a link to AutismVotes.org
- Science in Your area – reports total amount of Autism Speaks funding that has been given to local (state) researchers and highlights local researchers and funded projects; also highlights recruitment efforts and history of programs and initiatives.
- Autism Speaks Sponsored Events – lists upcoming events (Walk Now for Autism, Ride Now) and recaps past events in a given area.
- Volunteer Opportunities – identifies various Autism Speaks committees and volunteer opportunities.
- Contacts – list of all local Autism Speaks staff and offices, as well as volunteer leadership committees.
- Host an Event – ideas, guidelines and steps for hosting a local Autism Speaks fundraiser.
- Community Calendar – lists local autism community events, including Autism Speaks fundraising events, committee meetings, conferences and support groups.
“The Community pages are an ideal way for Autism Speaks to highlight the grassroots efforts of our local volunteers and demonstrate how the organization's funding is being invested in communities across the country,” said Tracey MacDonald, Autism Speaks National Director of Community Development. “We hope the autism community will utilize this new resource to become better connected with local services and to take advantage of opportunities to get involved and make a difference where they live.”
Autism is a complex brain disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by extreme behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 150 children in the United States, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The diagnosis of autism has increased tenfold in the last decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.
ABOUT AUTISM SPEAKS
Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention and treatments for autism, and to advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Bob Wright is Senior Advisor at Lee Equity Partners and served as vice chairman, General Electric, and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal for more than twenty years. Autism Speaks merged with both the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) and Cure Autism Now (CAN), bringing together the nation's three leading autism advocacy organizations. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit AutismSpeaks.org .