Our Diversity, Equity, Access and Inclusion (DEAI) Vision
At Autism Speaks, we are working to achieve a world where all people with autism, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, can reach their full potential – inclusive of all abilities, ages, races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, socioeconomic status, and belief systems.
Potential is unique to each individual and we strive to serve everyone with autism and their families by improving the representation of this diverse community in our content, expanding the reach of our resources and increasing inclusive practices in our workplace.
Our DEAI Purpose
Deeply ingrained in the Autism Speaks mission is a commitment to creating a more equitable and accessible world for those we serve. By enhancing our solutions, embracing culture and elevating diversity inside and outside of our organization, we can guide individuals and families to more relevant resources that can help them overcome obstacles they may encounter and reach their full potential. This work will address biases and disparities that create obstacles, champion equity-focused innovations and further advance the lives of people on the spectrum.
Our DEAI Work
Added three new bilingual English-Spanish Autism Response Team members, increasing access to translated resources, materials and trainings for our Spanish-speaking constituents.
Through nationwide community collaboration, we successfully advocated for the passage of the American Rescue Plan, including $3 billion in funding for individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These critically needed funds are intended for early intervention and special education services for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities and their families to help recover from the impact of COVID-19.
Elevated the scope and influence of leadership volunteers nationwide through the creation of Autism Speaks Executive Leadership Councils in 14 locations. With volunteers from diverse backgrounds and experiences, including corporate executives, self-advocates, service providers, family members and more, this enriched structure enables Autism Speaks to better serve our community and open new doors.
Added 17 new translated resources enhancing our support to Spanish-speaking communities. These resources have already been downloaded more than 25,000 times.
Supported Autism Speaks staff in the creation of four internal Employee Resource Groups, enabling a safe and open forum to share experiences, learn from others and be recognized.
Hosted the first Facebook Live event in the Voces Latinas de Autism Speaks group to share resources, ideas and provide support.
Successfully advocated for the introduction of the Autism Family Caregivers Act and gained the support of 39 members of Congress to benefit families who may struggle with access to adequate health services and social engagement opportunities.
Advocated to increase federal funding for autism research, training and services, resulting in 98 members of Congress signing letters to expand the ADDM Network to provide a better understanding of disparities in diagnosis.
*Fiscal Year 2022