Increasing Global Understanding & Acceptance of People with Autism

How we help 2.8M

Creating a more understanding and inclusive world is core to achieving our vision of a world where all people with autism can reach their full potential. Through the years, our collaborative Ad Council public service messaging campaigns have resulted in an over 50% increase in autism awareness. Our annual World Autism Month initiatives drive understanding and acceptance each April, connecting with more than 2.8 million social followers, and the Autism Speaks Walk, the largest autism fundraising and awareness event in North America, brings communities together in support of people with autism and their families. With your support, we continue to impact the lives of people with autism in meaningful ways.

Here are a few of our FY21 accomplishments:

  • Expanded Caregiver Skills Training (CST), a program designed to help underserved and low-resourced communities, in 36 additional locations in the U.S. and around the world, empowering parents and fostering vital social and communication skills for toddlers and young people on the spectrum.
  • Launched an Autism Friendly Designation certification program providing autism-friendly training, resources and supports to businesses committed to providing inclusive customer services for families with autism and other disabilities. Co-developed by people with autism, autism researchers and clinicians to create a more understanding and accepting world.
  • Established a 15-member Community Advisory Council to provide feedback and guidance on Autism Speaks programs, services, and publications to ensure we are representing and addressing the greatest needs of the autism community.  Council members consist of people with autism, caregivers and healthcare professionals of diverse gender identities, race, ages and ethnicities to represent our broad and diverse community.

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