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Autism Speaks Family Services Committee Announces Community Grant Program

Family Services Committee Seeks Proposals for Project Grants

NEW YORK, NY (September 6, 2007) -- Autism Speaks, the largest non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of autism and raising money to fund autism research, today issued a request for grant applications (RFA) for projects that will enhance the lives of those affected by autism spectrum disorders. The announcement of this first Family Services RFA was made jointly by Autism Speaks Board Member and Family Services Committee Chairperson Brian Kelly and Peter Bell, Executive Vice President for Programs and Services at Autism Speaks.

The Autism Speaks Family Service Community Grants will focus on building the field of services for individuals with autism and expanding the capacity to effectively serve this growing community. The Family Services Committee is seeking proposals for project grants in one or more of the following areas: Education; Recreation/Community Activities; Equipment/Support Technology; and Young Adult/Adult Services.

Prospective applicants will be educators, trainers and service providers who work with individuals with autism. Autism Speaks will not award grants to individuals or fund an individual or family for participation in personal programs. The Family Services Committee encourages individuals to contact local providers and organizations to submit proposals.

“Autism Speaks is committed to improving the quality of life for families affected by autism today,” said Bell. “There is a significant gap in the level of services individuals with autism receive. We hope to fill that gap and draw greater awareness to the need for enhanced and expanded services for both children and adults with autism.”

This first round of proposals is due October 12, 2007. The average grant awarded will be in the $10,000 to $20,000 range. Please visit /community/fsdb/grants.php for policies, procedures and application details. Funds are expected to be awarded in December, 2007.

The next Autism Speaks Family Services Community Grants RFA will be issued in the first half of 2008.

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.

Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and cure for autism, and to advocating for the needs of affected families. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Bob Wright is Vice Chairman, General Electric, and served as chief executive officer of NBC for more than twenty years. Autism Speaks has 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