As we celebrate the beginning of a new year, OAR is also looking ahead to the ambitious goals it has set for 2024, including goals for Autism Acceptance Month. Join us to promote autism awareness and acceptance in your community and across the country.
Goal 1: Support the autism community with information (autistics, families, educators, professionals).
OAR’s collection of guidebooks, manuals, curriculums, and online resources offer comprehensive, high-quality, research-based information for
parents, teachers, and autistic individuals. These resources cover essential topics such as the transition to adulthood, education, and safety.
By the end of April, OAR hopes to distribute 40,000 information resources to families, individuals, schools, community organizations, police and fire stations, and libraries.
How you can help: OAR is a national organization, but you are an expert on your local community. Please spread the word about these informative resources to people in your community. Reach out to local support groups, families, schools, organizations, community centers, or first responders who might benefit from these resources. Or, if you wish to actively distribute many resources in your local community, sign up as an autism materials distributor and tell us your community impact plan to get started.
Your efforts will help others learn more about autism and be better community members for autistic adults and children around them. Download or order paperback copies of our resources in our online store.
Goal 2: Teach students in general education about autism using the Kit for Kids program.
Autistic individuals are essential to our communities, so teaching children about their peers on the spectrum is vitally important. Our Kit for Kids peer education program helps educators, parents, friends, and classmates teach K-8 students about autism. Thanks to Nick, the autistic character featured in the Kit, neurotypical children learn that autistic students are just like them, even if they may think differently or need some accommodations. Since 2014, more than 190,000 students have learned about autism through the Kit for Kids. Let’s reach an additional 15,000 students by the end of April.
How you can help: Use the Kit for Kids materials at your local schools to help start class discussions, enhance school campaign efforts, and help build friendships among classmates through a greater understanding of autism.
In addition to telling the “What’s Up with Nick?” story, teachers can also use:
- OAR’s Autism Tuned In website, which features animated videos and online games
- Friendship Tip Sheets to encourage students to be good friends with their autistic classmates
- The Kit for Kids Activity Workbooks to help students engage with the materials presented in the Kit for Kids
For questions, comments, or bulk orders, please contact the Programs team at programs @ researchautism.org.
Goal 3: Support autistic young adults through OAR’s Hire Autism initiative.
Hire Autism, OAR’s employment initiative, supports autistic adults in finding meaningful employment. To achieve this, Hire Autism welcomes autism-friendly employers to post their active job listings free of charge on the Hire Autism job board.
In support of our mission this year, Hire Autism aims to provide job search mentorship to 220 job seekers to help them find employment and recruit 90 national employer partners of varying scopes and sizes.
How you can help: Use our services and partner with us.
- Work with a Hire Autism navigator for free one-on-one virtual assistance with the job search, including resumes, cover letters, and interview prep.
- Explore current job opportunities with our autism-friendly employers on the Hire Autism job board, and set job alerts to get notified when new positions are posted.
- Apply for the Synchrony Tech Scholarship, which supports autistic adults interested in obtaining technology-related certifications to pursue or advance their careers.
- Download free employment-related resources such as A Guide to Job Searching, A Guide to Resume Writing, and more on Hire Autism’s Resource Center.
- Diversify your talent pipeline by creating an employer account and setting up a time to meet with Hire Autism staff.
- Actively post job listings to our job board, considering candidates for a wide range of positions.
- Pursue training opportunities and explore resources on how to best support autistic employees.
- Support our mission and goals by volunteering as a navigator or regional ambassador.
To learn more about how you can get involved or contribute to Hire Autism’s mission, contact the Hire Autism team.
Goal 4: Raise money for OAR’s programs, resources, and new research.
RUN FOR AUTISM is OAR’s signature fundraising program. This year, RUN aims to raise $1,000,000 through 1,000 athletes dedicating their 2024 miles to autism research.
RUN’s goal for April is to:
- Raise $80,000 by the end of April through the Active for Autism 5k and Kids Dash, enough to fund a new OAR research study and support OAR’s mission to apply research to the challenges of autism.
How you can help:
- Join us for the sixth annual Active for Autism 5k and Kids Dash on April 13 in Alexandria, Va., for a fun, family-friendly event.
- Join us virtually for the Active for Autism 5k and Kids Dash between April 1 and April 12. Run, walk, cycle, or swim at your own pace from wherever you are.
- Sign up and be part of the RUN FOR AUTISM team at one of our signature events or join our DIY program to raise money for autism research at any race.
- Share these opportunities with someone you know who wants to dedicate their miles to autism research.
For more information, email the RUN staff at email@example.com.
Goal 5: Fundraise for OAR’s mission in a new and exciting platform: Stream for Autism.
Stream for Autism gives gamers, streamers, and content creators a platform to support the autism community by raising awareness and funds for OAR. Our goals for April are to:
- Raise $50,000 to support the distribution of informational resources, educational programs, and OAR’s mission to apply research to the challenges of autism through the Stream for Autism program.
- Sign up 100 new content creators and streamers to fundraise for OAR and spread autism awareness in April.
How you can help:
- Join this exciting initiative. Sign up to create your own charity stream and start fundraising today. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or new to streaming, your efforts will contribute to a more inclusive and supportive environment for individuals with autism.
- Share these opportunities with your online communities or someone you know who is a content creator or streamer.
For more information on OAR’s Autism Awareness Month initiatives and activities, email firstname.lastname@example.org.