About Us

Who We Are

The Autism Society is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots autism organization committed to improving the lives of those affected by autism. The Greater Akron affiliate was established in the 1990’s and serves Summit, Medina, Portage, Wayne and Stark counties.

In 2011, the organization changed from an all-volunteer organization to hiring one full-time Director; in 2012, a Program/Volunteer Coordinator was hired and an office was opened in Fairlawn with a library and computer for family use.

Volunteers continue to play a key role in implementing the mission of the organization. In 2012, more than 200 volunteers gave approximately 1300 hours to the Autism Society of Greater Akron.

Why We Exist

  • The most recent findings by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) puts the rate of autism at 1 in 88
  • Based on the population of the U.S. and CDC rates, there are estimated to be over 2 million individuals affected by autism; an estimated 50,000 are right here in Ohio
  • Given the birth rate from the U.S. Census Bureau and CDC incidence rates, nearly 50,000 individuals will receive an autism diagnosis this year
  • Individuals and families need a place to turn for support and guidance, today.
  • Support and guidance in local communities provided through a network of professionals, families, and volunteers is the best way to help all impacted by autism

What We Believe

Each individual with autism is a unique and important member of society deserving dignity, respect, and an equal opportunity to achieve the highest possible quality of life.

Our Guiding Principles

  • The Autism Society's efforts are focused on meaningful participation and self-determination in all aspects of life for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families.
  • The Autism Society promotes individual, parental and guardian choice to assure that people on the autism spectrum are treated with dignity and respect.
  • The Autism Society proactively informs, influences, guides and develops public policy at the federal, state and local levels, including by setting agendas for policymakers and legislators, for the benefit of the autism community.
  • The Autism Society is the respected voice of the autism community and the primary source for information by providing timely, frequent, relevant and professional communication.
  • The Autism Society works to ensure that every affiliate is a successful affiliate, sustained by a collaborative relationship between the national office and affiliates to realize mutual benefit and to protect the interests of both.
  • The Autism Society advocates for multi-disciplined approaches to autism research focused on improving the quality of life for individuals across the autism spectrum and their families.
  • The Autism Society works to ensure financial self-sufficiency and growth for all Autism Society operating units and integrated operations across all levels of the Autism Society.

Quality of Life Indicators

Our programs and services will focus on improving the quality of life for people on the autism spectrum and will reflect the following desired outcomes:

  • School inclusion
  • Friendship/social connection
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Academic success
  • Autonomy
  • Independent living to the maximum extent possible
  • Independent employment to the maximum extent possible
  • Subjective wellbeing
  • Recreation/leisure