The Hussman Foundation Grant Winner: Autism Society of Texas
As the year comes to an end, we are dedicated to highlighting the massive impact that the Autism Society network has had across the United States. Annually, our organization directly supports over 620,000 individuals and families affected by autism. This number includes 225,000 phone calls, emails, and support inquiries, 157,000 attendees at Autism Society events, plus over 40,000 individuals who raised their voices at Support Groups across the country.
Each year, the Hussman Foundation offers a $100,000 grant to be distributed throughout our affiliate network through initiatives each market is looking to grow or start. This month, we are proud to showcase four affiliates and the results of their successful programs from the past year.
Spotlight: Brown Bag Lunch Series
The Autism Society of Texas used the Hussman Foundation grant to expand Brown Bag Lunch Series, a program aimed at providing a broad array of information to individuals with autism, their families and others interested in learning more about autism by bringing in expert speakers to make short, impactful presentations. Hosted in-person in Austin, Texas, these presentations focus on topics such as picky eating, sensory strategies for emotional regulation and toilet training, with topics rotating every grant cycle.
Over the course of the program’s history, the Brown Bag Lunch Series has assisted thousands of people in the greater Texas community. Currently hosted in-person in Austin, Texas, the average attendance at a brown bag lunch was between 10 and 15 people, with an additional 1,000 people attending on average through uploaded and live Facebook videos. The English series was also accompanied by Spanish-language Brown Bag Lunches done in partnership with the Austin Independent School District (AISD). which helped to identify the need for additional Spanish-language resources within the autism community.
The impact of the program in Austin community has been so positive that Autism Society Texas been in discussions with Easter Seals Central Texas to expand it to the Dallas/Fort Worth area, which represents another great partnership opportunity that will help us to reach more individuals and families impacted by autism across the state. This represents another great partnership opportunity that will help us to reach more individuals and families impacted by autism across the state.
“We plan on polling our families to see what topics people are interested in so that we can better serve our community,” said Chris Masey, Executive Director of Autism Society Texas. “The Hussman Foundation funds helped us to improve upon an already successful program, and we’re excited to reach more individuals and families impacted by autism in the future.”
Visit the Autism Society Texas website to learn more about the Brown Bag Series and review their 2019 events!
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