The Arizona Autism Coalition continues to spread awareness and provide resources to families affected by Autism in Arizona.
The Phoenix-based group, Arizona Autism Coalition, formed in 2007 is an inclusive stakeholder organization that commits their time to improving the lives impacted by autism with support to the autism community.
The non-profit organization focuses on addressing the challenges faced by families including an increasing population, the tremendous cost of treatment, and the maze of services through which families must navigate, according to coalitions statement of History.
“We held our first Annual Autism Expo last spring featuring over 50 vendors sharing information about Autism services to over 500 people,” Manager of the Arizona Autism Coalition Mary Wetherell said. “This was the first of it’s kind event for the Phoenix area and we were thrilled by the support of our community.”
The Arizona Autism Coalition operates with funding from various community grants, membership donations and fundraising events including an Annual Conference in November and the Annual Autism Expo in March. The 2016 Annual Conference, Beyond Awareness Collaboration, came to Phoenix on November 5th.
“I believe the Coalition is amazing and extremely beneficial to our society,” previous Resource Elementary Teacher Alison Moser said. “The Annual Autism Expo last year made an enormous impact in the community and to families seeking resources.”
According to the Coalition’s website, some of their objectives include identifying gaps in reaching those who would utilize training, educating professionals who interface with affected children, expanding the distribution of early identification, building alliances with respected peers, fostering community allies and promoting community involvement.
“The conference is an event for both Professionals and Families offering informative presentations supporting best practices in the field of autism treatments,” Wetherell said. “We hope our members will take away new ideas for effective collaboration between providers and families to benefit those affected by autism.”
The Coalition presents the community with family resources in addition to professional and provider resources, according to the coalition’s resources link.
As stated in the coalition’s goals it is crucial that the organization identifies the unique missions of the various ASD service providers to avoid duplication of services. Another important goal the coalition includes is building alliances with respected peers, fostering community allies and promoting community involvement.
“In the past years I have spent a large amount of my time dedicated to teaching autistic students and helping with assistance for their families,” Kyrene School District Resource Teacher Elaina Bundy said. “An important part of providing help to those affected by autism is finding the best standards and practices.”
The Arizona Autism Coalition also provides the public with National and State Resources to educate families and communities affected by autism. Spreading awareness of the services that are currently available helps assist the individuals affected that are struggling in their environment.