Press Releases


June 10, 2023

Over 750 people in downtown Akron to celebrate 13th Annual Autism Society of Greater Akron’s Step Into Autism, Presented by FirstEnergy

(Akron, June 10, 2023) — The Autism Society of Greater Akron’s (ASGA) 13th Annual Step Into Autism, presented by FirstEnergy Corp., welcomed over 750 participants, 73 Teams, 25 volunteers, and 30 vendors, to show support for individuals and families living with Autism in the Greater Akron community.



December 15, 2022

Ohio Legislature Expands Silver Alert to Include Autism and other Developmental Disabilities

The Autism Society of Greater Akron (ASGA), along with the Autism Society of America and its fellow Ohio affiliates, today announced that in the early morning hours of December 15, the Ohio Senate and House passed SB 16 with an amendment to update the criteria for the state’s Silver Alert public notification system to include individuals with Autism and other developmental disabilities.



January 18, 2022

Autism Society of Greater Akron Welcomes New Board Members

The Autism Society of Greater Akron (ASGA) announced today the appointment of three new members to their board of directors. This brings the total number of board members to 14.


November 15, 2021

The Autism Society of Greater Akron joins the Autism Society and sister affiliates across the country with launch of new brand

The Autism Society today launched a new brand that represents the diverse experiences and needs across the Autism spectrum, emphasizing connectivity of Autistic self-advocates, parents, siblings and caregivers to each other and the broader community.


June 7, 2021

Autism Society of Greater Akron to host FREE Disability Resource Fair and Fun Day at Lock 3, Saturday, June 19,. First In-Person Event of its Kind in Downtown Akron

The Autism Society of Greater Akron (ASGA) is hosting its annual “Step Into Autism” event as an in-person disability resource fair and fun day at Lock 3 in downtown Akron on June 19, 2021. The event is FREE and is open to the public.


April 19, 2021

ASGA Launches 54 Day Challenge saying, “Summer is coming!”

The Autism Society of Greater Akron (ASGA) launches its eleventh annual signature fundraiser – social distance style – on Saturday, April 24, with a hybrid event designed to capture all abilities and all comfort levels!



April 1, 2021

Autism Society of Greater Akron Leading Efforts To Have April declared, Autism Acceptance Month

The Autism Society of Greater Akron (ASGA) joins the Autism Society of America and its sister affiliates across the country in leading efforts to change April from “Autism Awareness Month,” to “Autism Acceptance Month.” April has widely been known as “Autism Awareness Month” in the United States as a way to empower individuals with autism and their families.



March 18, 2021

Autism Society Greater Akron continues to #CelebrateDifferences 

This April, the Autism Society of Greater Akron (ASGA) continues to celebrate differences as it works to build an inclusive society where individuals with autism live fully through connection and acceptance. As such, ASGA is advocating for lawmakers at the state, federal, and global level, designate April as Autism Acceptance Month (AAM), a shift from the commonly used phrase “Autism Awareness Month.”



February 9, 2021

2021 Autism Summit Press Release

The Autism Society of Greater Akron (ASGA) is offering parents and caregivers of children with autism and other developmental disabilities, self-advocates, and professionals who work with the disability population the opportunity to learn more about the  Covid-19 vaccine directly from national and local experts.



February 5, 2020 

Autism Society of Greater Akron Selected as local Ohio Family Network

The Autism Society of Greater Akron (ASGA) is proud to announce its membership in the newly launched Ohio Family Network (OFN), enhancing access to resources and support for local families and individuals living with disabilities. 



December 10, 2019 
Cleveland Clinic Akron General Designated 'Autism Friendly Hospital'

Cleveland Clinic Akron General is the first hospital in Akron, and among the first adult hospitals in the nation, to be designated an “Autism Friendly Hospital.” This designation from the Autism Society of Greater Akron was celebrated at a reception on Tuesday in the hospital’s Main Lobby.


October 31, 2019 

Autism Society of Greater Akron to Host Author and Autism Dad, Dr. Robert Naseef; Speaks to the Mental Health of Caregivers and Those Who Support Them 

The health of a family – from marriage to siblings, to self-care – of those who live and love a child with a disability is often overlooked, which is why the Autism Society of Greater Akron (ASGA) will host psychologist, author, and autism dad Dr. Robert Naseef, Ph.D. for This Wasn’t the Plan: Living and Learning Autism on Thursday, November 7th from 6 pm to 8:30 pm at Tangier Event & Entertainment Center in Akron. Join ASGA and Dr. Naseef for dinner and a talk about taking care of the family, too. Each household will receive a copy of Dr. Naseef’s book, Autism in the Family: Caring and Coping Together.



September 30, 2019 
Autism Society of Greater Akron, Tuesday Musical collaborating to bring inclusive performances to E.J. Thomas Hall

The Autism Society of Greater Akron (ASGA) and Tuesday Musical are collaborating on two disability-inclusive events at E.J. Thomas Hall in Akron this fall: Akron Legends of Jazz and Dance on Oct. 10 and October Octets on Oct. 30.

The collaboration grew from suggestions during ASGA’s 2018 Akron Community Foundation “On the Table” conversations about Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity. During those conversations, community members suggested more local events targeted toward adults living with autism and other disabilities.



September 10, 2019 
Akronites to Double Down for Autism at Casino Night Benefit for the Autism Society of Greater Akron, Presented by FirstEnergy Foundation

The Autism Society of Greater Akron (ASGA) will host its third annual Casino Night benefit on Saturday, November 2, 2019, from 6 pm to 11 pm at Portage Country Club in Akron. Join ASGA for an evening of excitement to raise funds for their inclusive programs including iCan Bike Camp and Swimming with Autism, as well as the other educational and advocacy programs that help improve the lives of all affected by autism in the greater Akron community.



July 24, 2019 
ASGA Welcomes Three New Members to Board of Directors

The Autism Society of Greater Akron is excited to announce Ryan Pink (U-Haul International), Louise Dalton (The Timken Company), and Lorraine M. Signore (Brennan, Manna & Diamond, LLC) have joined our Board of Directors, which continues to grow and feature a wide range professional backgrounds. We can't wait to see what they bring to our team!



July 19, 2019 
Individuals with Disabilities Learn to Ride Bikes with Help of Autism Society of Greater Akron’s iCan Bike Camp

On Monday, July 8th, 40 individuals with disabilities, along with their parents, met in the auxiliary gym of Copley High School for iCan Bike, a week-long camp focused on learning how to ride a two-wheel bicycle. “I personally never thought she would be able to ride a bike before we heard about this camp,” said Lisa Strong of Akron as she spoke about her daughter, Jaylynn, who joined iCan Bike this summer. By Friday afternoon, Jaylynn and the 2019 class would overcome their doubts and celebrate successful graduation from the program.



June 19, 2019 
Greater Akron Community Walks for Autism Awareness at Step Into Autism

Over 1,200 people took a “Step Into Autism” on Saturday, June 15, to support individuals and families living with autism in the Akron community. Located at Firestone Stadium, the Autism Society of Greater Akron’s (ASGA) ninth annual autism awareness walk raised funds to support its locally based autism inclusive programs. The nonprofit was elated with the participation it received from families, sponsors, and the community in general.



May 29, 2019 
Swimming with Autism Water Safety Program is a Splash Hit with Local Families

On the evening of Monday, May 20th, graduates of the Autism Society of Greater Akron’s (ASGA) Swimming With Autism program and their families attended an open swim session and graduation ceremony at the Kohl Family YMCA to celebrate their completion of the class. Swimming With Autism, a water safety program designed specifically by ASGA for individuals with autism, is one of several inclusive programs provided by the Autism Society of Greater Akron.



May 15, 2019 
Ninth Annual Walk for Autism to Benefit the Autism Society of Greater Akron, Highlights work with Cleveland Clinic Akron General to Become Designated as Autism Friendly

On the morning of Saturday, June 15, professionals, families, neighbors, and friends will come together to celebrate autism and promote understanding at Step Into Autism (formerly the Autism 5k Run and Walk), a one-mile walk and family event to benefit the Autism Society of Greater Akron (ASGA). 



April 2, 2019 
The Autism Society of Greater Akron Celebrates World Autism Awareness Day

On April 2nd, the Autism Society of Greater Akron (ASGA) joins the autism community in celebrating World Autism Awareness Day as it kicks-off National Autism Awareness Month!



December 13, 2018
Local Families with Autism Attend First-Ever Inclusive Polar Express Train Ride

This holiday season, the Autism Society of Greater Akron (ASGA) and the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (CVSR) embarked on their inaugural run of an autism-friendly Polar Express Train Ride for Akron area families. On the evening of Wednesday, November 28th and morning of Saturday, December 8th, children with special needs and their families boarded the Polar Express in their pajamas and were greeted by special elves who were ready to give plenty of holiday cheer.



December 11, 2018
Swimming with Autism Program Teaches Local Children with Autism Water Safety

On the evening of Thursday, November 29th, the Autism Society Greater Akron (ASGA) hosted their graduation ceremony for Swimming with Autism, a water safety program designed specifically for individuals with autism. Families of the swimmers were invited to attend an open swim session at the Akron YMCA, followed by the presentation of graduation certificates.



December 6, 2018
Caring Santa Visits Families with Special Needs at Summit Mall

It’s early Sunday morning, and the holiday rush that typically fills Summit Mall on the weekends is hours away from arriving. Security guards are the only ones chatting in the food court. The entrance to Dillard’s is locked by steel gates, and the entire mall is very quiet. Enter the Autism Society of Greater Akron’s Caring Santa.



October 19, 2018
Autism Training Offered to Over 100 First Responders in Local Workshop

On October 17th, law enforcement, first responders and criminal justice personnel from the Greater Akron region were offered a unique opportunity for comprehensive training in working with individuals living with autism.

The workshop and lunch, hosted by the Autism Society of Greater Akron, was held on Wednesday at the Cleveland Clinic Akron General Health and Wellness Center in Akron. Over 100 attendees learned how to communicate with people living with ASD during emergency situations and how specific incidents should be handled.



October 14, 2018
2nd Annual Casino Night Raises Money for Autism in Greater Akron

On the evening of October 13th, the Autism Society of Greater Akron (ASGA) hosted their second annual Casino Night fundraiser at The Trailhead at Cascade Lofts. The speakeasy-themed event benefited ASGA’s Swimming with Autism water safety program, along with other autism inclusive initiatives in the Greater Akron community.



August 10, 2018
Artwork by Individuals with ASD Needed by 8/25 for Play at Weathervane Playhouse

The Weathervane Playhouse would like to raise awareness of autism in the community by displaying artwork created by individuals with autism.

Art will be on Exhibit at Weathervane Playhouse for this Tony Award-Winning Play

“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”

Play Dates: September 6-23, 2018



July 26, 2018
iCan Bike Camp Teaches Additional 39 People with Different Abilities How to Ride Bikes

Meet Gabriella Shepherd, a nine-year-old girl from University Heights who is diagnosed with epilepsy, autism, low muscle tone, developmental delays, and poor executive functioning skills. Her mother, doubting Gabriella’s ability to ever ride a two-wheel bicycle, decided to go to a local bike shop and buy her a tricycle for the summer. “The bike shop owner explained that a customer told him about iCan Bike Camp and that his daughter learned to ride a bike at the camp,” she said. “He suggested I try it before investing in the adult tricycle for my daughter. So, I signed her up as a mother’s duty; just to be able to say I tried.” 



June 21, 2018
Over 1,500 Attend Autism Society’s Autism 5k Run and Walk

On the morning of Saturday, June 16th, running enthusiasts and autism advocates gathered at Firestone Stadium in Akron to celebrate the Autism Society of Greater Akron’s (ASGA) eighth annual Autism 5k Run and Walk. The event brought individuals and families together to raise autism awareness and funds that support ASGA programs.  



June 4, 2018
Summit Metro Parks Designated as Autism Friendly

Summit Metro Parks became the first facility to earn the Autism Society of Greater Akron’s (ASGA) “Autism Friendly” seal at a family event held to mark the occasion.



April 26, 2018
1:59 Children now Identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder According to New CDC Report
Autism Society of Greater Akron concerned, but not surprised

About 1 in 59 eight-year-old children were identified as having autism, according to a new report published today in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Surveillance Summary. This latest estimate is higher than the previous estimate released in 2016, which found a prevalence of 1 in 68. 



April 6, 2018
Autism Ambassadors Honored, New Policies Released at Autism Summit 2018

The Autism Society of Greater Akron (ASGA) held its fourth annual Autism Summit kicking off April, Autism Awareness Month. Laurie Cramer, Executive Director of ASGA, said, “The Summit strives to raise awareness and understanding of autism. We’ve done this with speakers, a conference, and by bringing stakeholders, policymakers, and caregivers into the same room to talk about needed services and support for individuals with autism and their families.”  



December 5, 2017
Autism Society Congratulates Swimming with Autism Program Graduates

The Autism Society Greater Akron (ASGA) is proud to announce the inaugural class of twenty-three students who graduated from its “Swimming with Autism” class, a water safety program designed especially for individuals with autism.  



June 8, 2017
Autism Society of Greater Akron Submits Testimony to Ohio Senate
Finance Committee on Devastating Impact Budget Cuts Would Have on People with Disabilities

The Autism Society of Greater Akron (ASGA) yesterday submitted testimony to the Ohio Senate Finance Committee to share concerns about how the 2018-2019 state budget as passed by the House – and currently being considered by the Senate – would disproportionally hurt people with developmental disabilities.  The state budget strips funding for many services provided by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD).  

Laurie Cramer, Executive Director of ASGA and Sara Kline, Board Chair and Mayor of Stow, Ohio were personally invited by Senator Vernon Sykes to testify about H.B. 49, the state’s budget bill, after he and other state legislators attended ASGA’s Legislative Breakfast on this vital topic on Monday, June 5. 



March 15, 2017
Autism Society Greater Akron Stands With Autism Society of America to Oppose Proposed Medicaid Cuts

The Autism Society of Greater Akron stands with the Autism Society of America asking our federal legislators to slow down on proposed Medicaid changes that could hurt our state’s most vulnerable populations, in particular individuals with autism and other intellectual disabilities. 



Press Release Archive


Media Contacts

Autism Society of Greater Akron
Laurie Cramer, Executive Director
Autism Society of America

Scott Badesch, Chairman and CEO