2023 Autism Acceptance Month Press Release:
The Autism Society Reminds Everyone to Celebrate Differences for Autism Acceptance Month
This April is Autism Acceptance Month, and the Autism Society reminds everyone that acceptance happens every day.
Syracuse, NY - This April, the Central New York Chapter of the Autism Society (CNY ASA) is reminding everyone that acceptance happens everyday. Autism Acceptance Month kicks off on April 1, and the Autism Society is highlighting the power of acceptance in our daily interactions for those with Autism. For the Autism Society, acceptance means more than a designation for the month; it is an act of embracing the different, diverse and unique experience across the Autism community.
The organization is connecting with Autistic individuals, their families, friends, and support teams with their annual #CelebrateDifferences campaign. The goal of #CelebrateDifferences is to highlight and honor the infinite ways in which people experience life. The campaign aligns with the Autism Society’s vision to connect everyone in the Autism community to the support they need, when they need it – no matter how they identify themselves or the diversity of support needs.
“Autism Acceptance Month is a great reminder that acceptance is understanding that one size does not fit all – that we can and should see an individual’s unique needs and work together to advocate for the services and supports that help each person live fully,” said Christopher Banks, President and CEO of the Autism Society of America. “This is what #CelebrateDifferences is all about – recognizing the diversity of the Autism community so that we can create more accessible, quality, support and service options for our community.”
Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the United States, with one in 36 children receiving a diagnosis. Early diagnosis for children between one and four-years-old has proven to have a significant impact on their lifelong outcomes, as they are fifty times more likely to receive services that support their development through childhood.
5.8 million Autistic adults and another nearly 1.1 million are nearing adulthood in the next few years, effectively aging out of state-funded supports and services. Only about one-third of Autistic adults work in paid jobs for more than 15 hours a week, yet employment plays a pivotal role in transitions to adulthood, independent living, socialization, self-worth and confidence.
The Autism Society and its network of affiliates create impact across the country, and directly within CNY ASA, to deliver services and supports throughout the lifespan. This includes recreational day camp programs, family recreational programming, educational programs for parents and caregivers, support groups for Autistic adults and their families, general support groups, and information and referral services.
Nationally, the Autism Society directly served 334,000 people in the past year, while 1.2 million individuals visited national’s website looking for information and resources. 58,000 people attended educational events across the country, and 2,300 individuals attended water safety and wandering events.
7,500 first responders were trained on safe and effective interactions with the Autism community. 34,000 people attended support groups including Autistic individuals, parents and caregivers.
Last year, advocates sent 600+ letters to Congress to take action to ban electric shock devices. The Autism Society and partners successfully advocated for critical bills to increase funding and/or supports within the omnibus bill, ABLE Age Adjustment Act, Money Follows the Person, Kevin & Avonte’s Law, and Assistive Technology Act among others.
In the coming year, the Autism Society is investing significantly in its national programs. The organization plans to expand its Vaccine Education Initiative (VEI) to address the unique needs of the Autism community and accessible healthcare; deliver increased first responder trainings with tools and information to serve the Autistic community more safely and effectively for life-saving outcomes; expand employment opportunities and outcomes for Autistic individually addressing systemic barriers to employment; and deepen the organizational focus on health equity to build a robust system of supports, services and resources aimed at the whole living experience.
Throughout the month of April, CNY ASA will highlight more about these specific initiatives and stories that aim to demonstrate acceptance in action. The Autism Society is encouraging everyone to connect and participate in the #CelebrateDifferences campaign to learn more, share information and personal stories, and join the movement to practice acceptance every day.
About Autism Society of America
The Autism Society’s mission is to create connections, empowering everyone in the Autism community with the resources needed to live fully. As the nation’s oldest leading grassroots Autism organization, the Autism Society and its 70+ affiliates serve over half a million members of the Autism community each year. It envisions a world where everyone in the Autism community is connected to the support they need, when they need it – including education, advocacy efforts, community programming, and supports and services throughout the lifespan. During Autism Acceptance Month, the Autism Society has a goal to fundraise to expand acceptance in practice for the Autism community.
The Autism Society works everyday to measurably improve the quality of life for individuals and families affected by Autism, providing information and resources for communities to be more aware of Autism, promote acceptance, and be more inclusive in everyday life. Our local affiliate, CNY ASA is committed to assisting families in the Central New York area affected by Autism, reaching out to the community to promote awareness, disseminate information and provide educational and recreational programming.
We serve our local community and comprise our own separate entity.
We continue to be about creating opportunity and options for all on the spectrum and strive to create a place where each person with Autism is valued, respected and provided the opportunity to maximize their quality of life each and every day.
The Autism Society Launches New Brand:
The Autism Society has updated its brand to fully reflect the experiences, needs, and diversity of the Autism community, including Autistic individuals, their families, friends, caregivers, and professionals in Autism-related fields. Those living on the Autism spectrum have for far too long been categorized, labeled, and placed in diagnostic boxes. Life experiences are far more complex. The Autism Society embraces and celebrates the infinite ways in which people live their lives.
As the nation's oldest and largest grassroots Autism organization, the new brand is a reflection of our foundation through grassroots input and ongoing engagement. Over the course of a year, 150 individuals in the Autism community participated in the brand development, through interviews, focus groups, and participation on advisory councils, whose members include people on the Autism spectrum.
The Autism Society’s new brand will support the organization, including the 75 affiliates across the country, as it aims to deliver its mission to create connections, empowering everyone in the Autism community with the resources needed to live fully. Whether an individual with Autism advocates with the organization or a parent of a newly diagnosed child comes seeking information – the brand is designed to support a person’s emotional, practical, and intellectual needs to build and foster connections. “No matter how you engage with the Autism Society, we want you to feel welcome, included and connected to the resources, support and community you are looking for,” said Autism Society of America’s President and CEO, Christopher Banks. “That’s why I am so deeply inspired by our new tagline - The Connection is You™. This is a call to action for every one of us in the Autism community to create connections intentionally. When you come to the Autism Society looking for information, you are the connection. When you create a local support group for fathers of Autistic children, you are the connection. When you are an Autistic self-advocate showing up to share your story for policy changes, you are the connection.”
The Autism Society - Central New York's mission is to create connections, empowering everyone in the Autism community with the resources needed to live fully. The Autism Society and its 75 local affiliates serve over half a million members of the Autism community each year. It envisions a world where everyone in the Autism community is connected to the support they need, when they need it - including education, advocacy efforts, and supports and services throughout the lifespan.
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