We create connections, empowering everyone in the Autism community with the resources needed to live fully.
Creating a world where everyone in the Autism community is connected to the support they need, when they need it
where the value and self-determination of every individual is upheld
where everyone with Autism achieves the highest possible quality of life
where every person is integrated into society without barriers or exceptions in a collaborative environment
where everyone is respected for their unique and individual differences
where we conduct ourselves with honor, truth, and respect in our thoughts, words, and actions
Through the Autism Society, individuals can connect with each other, with resources, and with supports and services so that they may live full, vibrant, self-actualized lives. As the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots Autism organization, the work we do is a reflection of our foundation through grassroots input and ongoing engagement. The Autism Society has local knowledge and connections through a nationwide affiliate network. This extensive network aims to ensure that everyone in the Autism community has the support and resources they need to live fully – no matter where they are or when they start their journey – throughout a lifetime. The Autism Society is the connection for Autistic individuals of all ages and needs, their families and friends, researchers, and professionals to create a collaborative community where everyone is integrated into society without barriers or exceptions. To do this, the Autism Society continually seeks to build resources across the country, advocates for inclusive policies and practices at local and federal levels, and is always looking to build connections, not just to resources, but to each other.
Because the experience of Autism is not one thing. Because it is many things. And because the connection between those experiences is you.
Because we see you. The way you think. The dreams you hold. The talents you bring. Because you can’t be categorized into neat little diagnostic boxes. Because you break the mold.
Because sometimes you’re quiet. Because sometimes you need help reaching for where you belong. Because sometimes what happens is not always right or fair or just. Because there are keys to every door that looks locked.
Because no matter how you were born, the person you are is infinite—and you are the only you there is.
Because Autism is not going away, neither are we.
The connection is you.™
Why a new brand now?
- The previous Autism Society brand is over 20 years old and no longer serves the needs of the community. It lacked important visual and written components that clearly demonstrate our organization’s values of inclusivity, connection, and acceptance.
- The brand amplifies neurodivergent voices in advocating for inclusive policies, centering on those with Autism in all aspects of public conversations around critical issues such as civil rights, education, employment, housing, health care and more.
- Autistic self-advocates identified their lack of inclusion in decision-making within Autism organizations as a major hurdle for their engagement with those organizations. The Autism Society has heard from many individuals and groups that the organization’s previous brand did not resonate with or serve the community effectively. We listened.
- This brand demonstrates the Autism Society’s commitment to continue to listen, learn, and to weave together the thoughts, ideas, and concerns of all its community members to better serve those with Autism and their loved ones.
What does the new logo represent?
- The logo is a symbol for community, strength, equity, diversity, pathways and, of course, connection. The single threads of the Autism Society brand logo represent individuality and unique experiences that are simultaneously interconnected and woven to the greater community. The mark speaks to the interdependence of the Autism community.
- Additionally, the individual threads that make up the pattern, when working together or when “woven” together, create a stronger, more resilient “fabric” of people working together for the Autism community.
- The brand colors bring a vibrant and inclusive feeling to the Autism community.
- The thread elements represent people within the Autism community. While being a part of a community, they are still individuals.
- The woven threads represent the intersectionality of all those in the Autism community. This includes the full-spectrum of people with Autism, their families, caretakers, professionals in the field and others who are connected.
Where is the puzzle piece?
- The representation of the puzzle piece has evolved since its earlier inception, and in recent years the Autism Society has not used the puzzle piece in marketing materials, messaging or network-wide campaigns. Like our efforts to shift April from Autism Awareness Month to Autism Acceptance Month, as well as our rebranding, words and representation matters, and we must evolve alongside our community
- We aim to value people’s experiences as individuals. We know that the puzzle piece means a lot for some people, while it does not for others. The shift away from using the puzzle piece to interconnected threads is a recognition of the diversity of experiences and connection points within the community.
- The puzzle has been part of the history of Autism in general, including in the brands and logos of several Autism-focused organizations. That history is a part of the Autism community’s story, and that of many individuals for whom the image resonates.
- No matter how you feel connected to Autism, you are connected. The images that help you as an individual feel connected are valid. The Autism Society embraces you as the connection.
What does this brand mean to members of the Autism community?
- By centering Autistic individuals and their loved ones, the brand amplifies the power of neurodivergent voices and needs in advocating for inclusive policies and fosters acceptance through visibility. The new brand demonstrates the ongoing commitment from the Autism Society to continue to listen, learn, and to weave together the thoughts, ideas, and concerns of all its community members to better serve Autistic individuals and their loved ones.
- Across the Autism community, which includes families, caretakers, and friends, the brand invites everyone to be the connection, which fosters acceptance, inclusion, and support of Autistic individuals so that they may live fully.
How did inclusivity work in the design process?
- Inclusivity has been an essential component, not only to the design process, but at every step of the project. Individuals representing the key groups within the Autism community: Autistic individuals across the spectrum, families and caregivers, and professionals in the Autism field all participated in the process.
Why is Autism capitalized?
- The Autism Society believes the shift to a capital A is a broader representation of a culture, identity and diverse neurotype - as well as the disorder itself. It can improve understanding of the diverse needs and perspectives within the Autism community, leading to increased access, inclusion, and meaningful support for people with Autism and their loved ones in our society.
Explain ‘person-first’ and ‘identity-first’ and what that means as I read/listen to content from the Autism Society.
- Across conversations in the Autistic community (people with Autism), there are preferences for use of person-first identification (Person with Autism) or identity-first identification (Autistic Person).
- Because Autism and the experiences of living with Autism are myriad and unique, and individuals who self-advocate have preferences about how to describe their identity, we always recommend asking an individual what their preference is.
- In the Autism Society’s new brand, to honor and recognize that both identifiers are valid for individuals, our practice is to start written materials with person-first language, and use identity-first language as a secondary reference after the opening use.
Explain the new tagline: The Connection is You ™
- The tagline exemplifies the Autism Society’s vision—creating a world where everyone in the Autism community is connected to the support they need, when they need it. And by everyone, it means every unique individual.
- Furthermore, it is a call to action for anyone to BE the connection. It could be someone connecting to services, or sharing information, or providing support. We are all a part of the community, when we all act as the connection.