“We can throw stones, complain about them, stumble on them, climb over them, or build with them”
~William Arthur Ward
If you've been reading this blog for long, then you already know that one of the autism-related issues that I am most passionate about is the incredible lack of services and support for families dealing with the diagnosis. In fact it is so bad that if I hadn't experienced it personally or witnessed other families struggling desperately, I probably wouldn't believe it.
Insurance companies see the word autism and routinely respond with the knee-jerk "Denied." Children are unable to access the intervention they need. The Department of Education allows various states and school districts to blatantly disregard the federal mandate for a free and appropriate education under The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Adults age out of the system at 22 and then have little or no support.
It's a mess.
Somebody somewhere has got to do something.
The fantastic news is that Autism Speaks announced today that it is once again accepting applications for grants that "promote services that will enhance the lives of those affected by autism spectrum disorders."
I encourage anyone and everyone who reads this blog to make sure that providers and educators in your area are aware of this opportunity. For details please see below or simply visit the Autism Speaks web site.
Request for Applications: Family Services Community Grants
February 7, 2008 - Autism Speaks invites grant applications that promote services that will enhance the lives of those affected by autism spectrum disorders. Recognizing that there are multiple needs in this expansive and varied community, the focus of these grants will be on proposals that serve to build the field of services for individuals with autism and expand the capacity to effectively serve this growing community. Autism Speaks will accept family services community grant proposals that address one of the following areas of need :
Building the field and scope of educators and trainers, by providing continuing education and training to those working with individuals with autism spectrum disorders
Providing funding for consultation to improveeducation for individuals with autism
Providing funding to increase the capacity of service providers
Training professionals to interact more effectively with individuals with autism spectrum disorders
Funding to organizations that provide respite services.
Social skills training that provides peer modeling and inclusion with typically developing peers
Recreation and athletic programs for individuals with autism spectrum disorders
Computer programs for schools, centers or agencies
OT and PT equipment
Augmentative communication devices (for schools or agencies, not individuals)
Young Adult/Adults Services
Pre-vocational and vocational training
Recreation programs for adults
Life/community integration skills
Autism Speaks Family Services Community Grants will partner with other organizations to provide additional funding for projects that match our objectives.
Autism Speaks will not award grants to individuals or fund an individual or family for participation in personal programs. We encourage individuals to contact local providers and organizations to submit proposals that will meet our stated goals.
Autism Speaks Family Service Community Grants do not fund scientific research projects. For information about science grants funded by Autism Speaks please click on the following link: http://www.autismspeaks.org/science/research/grants/index.php
The average grant award will be in the $10,000 - $20,000 range. Multi-year grants will not be awarded.
Organizations interested in submitting an application must address one of the 4 areas of need. Successful applicants will apply grant funding to support new programs or the expansion of existing projects.
All applications must be submitted on line. Click here for the online application process.
View the Family Services Community Grants RFA (PDF).
On December 20, 2007, Autism Speaks announced more than $565,000 in Family Services Community Grants. Read a press release here and read summaries of the funded grants here.