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Calls to Action

Autism Speaks Small Business Initiative Grant 2016

Calling all small business development experts!

Autism Speaks is committed to connecting and empowering adults affected by autism and their families with resources and tools that improve the quality of life today and into the future. There are approximately two million adults with autism living in the United States today and over the next ten years, another 500,000 will enter adulthood. Employment is such a critical component for most adults to build full and productive lives, and many individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are fully capable of employment and can excel in any field they choose. Individuals living with autism deserve the opportunity to contribute as productive workers in appropriate employment settings – and with appropriate accommodations – and actively improve their quality of life.

But while approximately 50,000 young adults with autism reach working age every year in the United States, only a fraction of those individuals are gainfully employed in jobs that match their capabilities. The new Autism Speaks Technical Assistance Grants for Small Businesses aim to increase these employment opportunities by connecting entrepreneurs with autism and other small business owners with autism-specific employment consultants who can provide customized technical assistance and help those businesses expand.

This request for applications is for funding available for Regional Grants to technical assistance (TA) experts or disability employment consultants. Grantees will receive up to $35,000 to provide technical assistance.

These TA experts will be selected based upon their subject matter expertise and experience; the ability to provide technical assistance to existing or new small businesses who seek to employ (or more effectively support) people with autism; and based on their existing networks in the respective communities and their plans for outreach. 

Technical assistance is defined as the support one needs to work effectively and efficiently. Examples of technical assistance include but are not limited to workshops, training sessions, individually-based consulting to develop skills and resources to help a business succeed.


June 6 – July 15: Application open
August: Applicants notified
August 2016-January 2017: Duration of grant

Apply now!