Autism Speaks public service announcement “Learn the Signs” campaign, produced with the Ad Council and BBDO, has received over $210 million in donated media and is responsible for an unprecedented increase in national and global autism awareness.
Autism Speaks increased its focus on the necessary supports and services for adolescents and adults with autism through programs such as Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism and Autism in the Workplace.
In 2009 alone, seven states enacted new autism insurance reform laws: New Mexico, Montana, Nevada, Colorado, Connecticut, Wisconsin and New Jersey. Presently, an additional 25 states have similar insurance reform legislation under consideration.
Through the Global Autism Public Health initiative, Autism Speaks facilitated the first prevalence studies in South Korea, Taiwan, Ireland and Mexico. In addition, Autism Speaks supported the translation of standardized diagnostic instruments into languages spoken by 1.75 billion people.
The Interactive Autism Network (IAN), the first national online autism registry, is accelerating autism research by linking more than 30,000 registered family members to researchers nationwide. This year, IAN contributed data to the largest published study of concordance among ASD twin pairs to date. IAN also published reports on family stress and gender differences in 2009.
QUALITY OF LIFE
Autism Speaks called on the government to step up its funding of autism research and services when the CDC announced the alarming new prevalence numbers of 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys.
Autism Speaks launched the Autism Safety Project, an online tool kit for individuals with autism, families, and first responders that provides information and strategies to promote safety in emergency situati
Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism, a national consortium of autism organizations, hosted a National Town Hall, coordinated by Autism Speaks.
After President Obama’s election, the White House website prominently featured autism as part of the disabilities agenda, the only disorder specifically cited. In his presidential campaign, Obama pledged to seek to increase federal ASD funding for research, treatment, screenings, public awareness, and support services to $1 billion annually by the end of his first term in office. Additionally, he committed to bringing autism insurance reform to the entire nation.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act committed $10 billion in new funding to the National Institutes of Health over the next two years. Autism Speaks urged the National Institutes of Health to commit $200 million in stimulus funding to autism research and to date $116 million has been awarded through this incremental funding mechanism.