A Year of Hope, Inspiration and Empowerment

From the Director

November 1, 2011 Prism Newsletter
By Tonia Ferguson

Over the last 12 months, Autism NOW has given hope to over a million people by providing information about autism and developmental disabilities issues; referring people to local and regional services; and empowering people at the regional summits across the country. With the help and support of self-advocates, family members, friends, neighbors, and the entire disability community, Autism NOW had great SUCCESS connecting individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disabilities with the information they need.

However, we could not have done it without YOU! The impact that you made this year has been astounding. By attending one of our 55 webinars, engaging in our five regional summits (with over 1,300 registrants), and communicating with us through social media (with over 98,000 post reviews), you have not only found resources to make a positive, practical impact on the lives of individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities but also have helped others to find HOPE, INSPIRATION, AND EMPOWERMENT. THANK YOU for this commitment!

We are very excited about the progress we had this past year, and we are thrilled about our promised activities and partners this year. We will be continuing our webinars every Tuesday from 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm (EST), and we will be increasing our web presence with social media and blogging by self-advocates.

In addition, Autistic Self-Advocacy NetworkSelf-Advocates Becoming Empowered, and Autism Society of America will continue to be on-hand to provide expert resources and information. To this mix, we added some great new partners this year. The National Youth Leadership Network, Sibling Leadership Network, and the Institute on Disability and Human Development will be joining us to provide webinars, information, and resources. We are so grateful to have a roster of collaborative partners to provide an exceptional array of talent, resources, and content expertise in the areas that affect individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.

Through it all, I am truly humbled by what I have learned from YOU this year, and I am very appreciative of how the Administration on the Developmental Disabilities has supported the Autism NOW Center.  They have not only funded our activities but also encouraged us throughout this year to DREAM BIG. From this encouragement, we have been able to touch over a million lives and further enable families and individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder to EMPOWER themselves to find resources and information that they want and need.  In this upcoming year, we hope to do the same and continue our mission to make You, Empowered!

Tonia Ferguson is Director of the Autism NOW Center.

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