Increasing Global Understanding & Acceptance of People with Autism

Graphic that reads: Autism Speaks Ad Council campaigns  have raised autism awareness by  more than 50%, helped lower the age  of diagnosis and helped to close the  diagnosis gap between Black and  white children.  World Autism Month campaign in April  engages hundreds of thousands of people globally  and fuels understanding and acceptance.

At Autism Speaks, we believe that increasing understanding and acceptance is crucial to empowering every member of our community to thrive. We’re committed to building a kinder, more inclusive world for all people on the spectrum

Through the years, our collaborative Ad Council public service messaging campaigns have resulted in a 67% increase in autism awareness. Our annual World Autism Month campaigns fuel understanding and acceptance each April, and our Autism Speaks Walk, the largest autism fundraising and awareness event in North America, brings communities together to support people with autism and their families.

 

Most recently, we’re proud to share these accomplishments from the last fiscal year.  

  • Helped create a more inclusive world during April, World Autism Month, through advocacy and storytelling. 
    • Unveiled diverse video profiles of children and adults across the spectrum 
    • Secured more than 650 news stories reaching nearly 400 million people 
    • Achieved more than 1 million views, likes, comments and shares inspired by stories on social media  
    • Engaged more than 100 congressional leaders to share support socially 
  • Provided a platform for the autism community to share stories. 
    • Launched advertising campaign to create a “Brighter Life on the Spectrum” 
    • Launched “Spectrum Spotlight” monthly email feature to share inspirational stories; series received 2.8 million bi-monthly page views with a reach of nearly 450,000 people each month 
  • Engaged a social community of 2.8 million achieving more than 400 million page impressions 
    • More than 14 million engagements on Autism Speaks social media posts 
    • More than 300 original stories of autistic people and their families 
  • Invited 50,000+ families to participate in autism-friendly experiences, including holiday experiences with Cherry Hill Programs and travel experiences with JetBlue.  
    • Shared over 4,750 autism-friendly events and drew more than 480,000 unique page views to online calendar  
  • Drew more than 20 million unique visitors and 24 million page views on autismspeaks.org, with more than 100,000 views of personal story profiles and videos. 
  • Launched our grassroots advocacy network of 700 advocates, representing 48 states and the District of Columbia, who fueled spirited policy discussions across the country.  
    • More than 100 advocates met with 60 members of Congress and congressional staff at the first Autism Advocacy Forum and Hill Day in Washington, D.C. 
    • Hosted six state advocacy days to advance policy priorities, in collaboration with other organizations and advocates 
  • Grew advocacy ambassador program to 340 volunteers who advocated in support of issues of concern to people with autism through 335 meetings with congressional leaders. 
    • Advocated for the inclusion of people with developmental delays and disabilities in the United Nations Universal Health coverage commitment endorsed by the UN general assembly, in collaboration with UNICEF, the World Health Organization and Special Olympics.  
  • Convened leadership conference to address disparities related to autism. 
  • Engaged 350+ NCAA basketball programs through Coaches Powering Forward initiative to increase understanding and acceptance. 

Meet members of our community who share their stories of the importance of increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism.

Meet Leilani M.
Leilani M. | 15 years old
Too often people think that non-verbal people don’t have anything to say because they can’t speak, but that is so far from the truth.
Read Leilani M.'s Story
Bryan B
Bryan B. | 24 years old
Opening up about the hardships I’ve endured in my life has been a challenge, but I know by speaking out, I can help countless others, and that’s what matters most.
Read Bryan B.'s Story
Giana Hitsos
Gianna H. | 24 years old
As a self-advocate, I speak for those autistic people who can’t speak for themselves, in hopes that the bullying that happened to me will not happen to anyone else.
Read Gianna H.'s Story
We're Here to Help Chat with Us
Autism Response Team Chat
There are no available agents at the moment.

You can also reach the Autism Response Team by phone or email: 888-288-4762, en Espanol 888-772-7050, or help@autismspeaks.org.