(PRWEB) December 19, 2013
Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism and science advocacy organization, announced today that it has awarded more than $350,000 to 66 local organizations with the launch of its Neighborhood Grants program. The grants were made possible through Autism Speaks’ partnership with Sprouts Farmers Markets, one of the largest and fastest growing natural foods retailers in the country. Service providers located in the following states where Sprouts stores operate were eligible to apply: Arizona, California, Colorado, Oklahoma, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. The Southern California Chapter also benefited from the Neighborhood Grants and was awarded $110,000.
Chapman University in Orange was among this year’s grant winners with two grants awarded for A Spanish language outreach program and a program for young adults and adults.
Autism Speaks’ Neighborhood Grants are designed to promote and increase the field of local service providers to help improve the lives of those affected by autism and better serve this growing community. These grants will help service providers expand existing programs or create new programs that demonstrate innovation in providing services to enrich the lives of individuals with autism. Grant recipients were selected based on recommendations from each Autism Speaks Chapter and local Autism Speaks volunteers.
Recipients were awarded up to $5,000 addressing the areas of education, recreation and community activities, young adult/adult services and technology. Funded programs include museum inclusion programs; iPads and SmartBoards for classrooms; mentoring programs with peers; training for Spanish speaking families; theatre programs; support groups and more.
“We want to thank our partner, Sprouts Farmers Market, for its support with the inaugural launch of our Neighborhood Grants,” said Matthew Asner- Executive Director for Autism Speaks. “By funding these programs, we hope to provide more services in our local communities that will benefit more individuals with autism.”
All recipients of the 2013 Neighborhood Grants can be found on the Autism Speaks website, as well as the searchable online grant database. All applicants have also been added to the Autism Speaks Family Services Resource Guide, as the organization continues to connect families and service providers with resources in their communities. Grant applications will be open again next fall.
Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders – caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges, as well as repetitive behaviors. An estimated 1 in 88 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum – a 78 percent increase in six years that is only partly explained by improved diagnosis.
About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed nearly $200 million to research and developing innovative resources for families. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 100 cities across North America. On the global front, Autism Speaks has established partnerships in more than 40 countries on five continents to foster international research, services and awareness. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit http://www.autismspeaks.org.
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