Reflecting on OAR’s Impact
December 06, 2023
With 2023 coming to a close, we are reflecting on OAR’s impact over this year. As we prepare to close out another year, we look back on OAR’s impact on the autism community. From the Life Journey Through Autism Series and programs like the Kit for Kids and siblings’ resources to applied research grants, we’ve seen how OAR fulfills its mission to apply research to the challenges of autism. One autism mom told us, “I was completely blown away by how helpful OAR’s sibling support resources are! They have changed my family’s lives more than I can possibly explain in words.” Feedback like this helps us know OAR’s research and programs are on target for our community, but there is so much more we can do.
With Hire Autism, we have focused on a critical need that we can do something about: employment opportunities that match autistic individuals’ unique strengths and talents. It is estimated that 85% of autistic adults are unemployed or underemployed. That’s where the Hire Autism program comes in to bridge the gap between autistic job seekers and inclusive employers. Through this program, we are not only helping individuals find meaningful work but also working to create a more autism-friendly workforce that values diversity and inclusion. In the words of a recent job seeker, Hire Autism “helped me with my resume, interviewing skills, choosing the right jobs to apply to. Going through the program has significantly increased my confidence in myself and my skills.” To date, Hire Autism has supported more than 865 job seekers in their job searches, with more than 165 reporting that they’ve found employment.
These are just a few examples of how OAR supports the autism community. We know we can accomplish more. In the coming year, we plan to increase our applied research grant funding, expand our community grant program to support autistic adults, and boost the distribution of the Kit for Kids program to become part of the curriculum in school districts across the country. This year, for example, we partnered with the Hillsborough Township Public School District to have the Kit for Kids program approved as supplemental material for its school counseling program by the school board. We look forward to continuing this partnership and creating many more.
We do not make these things happen alone. Your support helps us to expand our ability to improve the quality of life for autistic people and their families. When you donate to OAR, you can do so with confidence, knowing that $0.80 of every dollar you give goes towards OAR’s core mission and programs. We are proud to once again have the highest charity rating from Charity Navigator and a “top-rated” designation by Great Nonprofits. Please donate online at researchautism.org/give.