Autism Speaks opens applications for Norma and Malcom Baker Recreation Grants

September 7, 2021

NEW YORK - Autism Speaks, the global non-profit dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of people with autism and their families, today announced the opening of applications for the final cycle of Norma and Malcom Baker Recreation Grants.

Since 2018, the Autism Speaks Baker Grant program has awarded over $607,000 to 123 organizations across the country and served tens of thousands of people with autism, their caregivers and families, teachers, therapists and neurotypical peers.

Autism Speaks’ Baker Grants offer funding for programs that provide autistic people of all ages with social and educational experiences that have a true, measurable impact on their lives. The program accepts applications from both for-profit and non-profit organizations for grant awards of $5,000.

Baker Grant applicants must grow and replicate best practices with other partners in their community, state or region within one of the following categories of service delivery:

  • Summer Camp Programs: including day and overnight programs that provide a safe and nurturing environment where people with autism can enjoy a variety of therapeutic activities and sports, and arts and technology programs that help them reach their full potential during the summer.
  • Adult Service Programs: including recreation and respite programs specifically for adults. These programs may also teach life skills, health and community living skills.
  • Adult Employment Programs: including programs that are dedicated to helping individuals with autism find and maintain meaningful employment by teaching them the skills they need to succeed in the workplace.
  • Physical Fitness and Sports Programs: including a wide range of athletic activities and team sports, as well as health and wellness programs both in school and after school which aim to ensure people with autism are learning how to engage in physical activities that they can share with their peers.
  • Swimming and Water Safety: including programs that provide qualified swimming and water safety lessons specifically for individuals with autism.

Service providers are encouraged to apply here. Applications will close on October 22, 2021, and funding will be disbursed starting January 15, 2022.

The 2021 schedule is as follows:

  • September 7: Application process opens
  • October 22: Final date for applications 
  • October 26 - November 9: Review committees meet and make decisions on recommendations
  • November 10: Recommendations are reviewed and grants approved
  • November 22: All applicants notified and announcements made on social media
  • Starting January 15: Funds disbursed upon receipt of contracts
  • End December 2022: Final Report from recipients due to Autism Speaks

For more information, download the Norma and Malcolm Baker Recreational Grant Applicant Guidebook or email