Autism Empowerment is a 501(c)3 non-profit empowering the lives of youth, adults and families in the Autism & Asperger community.
Autism Empowerment is dedicated to enriching and empowering the lives of youth, adults and families in the Autism and Asperger communities.
The organization co-founded in June 2011 in Vancouver, WA by Karen and John Krejcha, a local family with two youth and a parent (Karen) diagnosed on the autism spectrum.
What distinguishes Autism Empowerment as unique from most autism related organizations is that we proactively include individuals on the autism spectrum in key staff, program development and volunteer roles.
Since June 2011, Autism Empowerment has been volunteer-based. We have been working to emerge from our grassroots and incubation phase into a period where we will hire staff, strengthen existing programs and continue to build capacity. We have been doubling our budget each year since 2011, and we recently completed a three year Strategic Planning Session which we believe will advance us into the next phase of our nonprofit’s organizational development.
We moved into our first office space at the ARC of Clark County Family Center in April 2014 which has provided a richer opportunity to service clients and collaborate with local agencies.
Our Board of Directors has grown from 3 members to 8 and includes Gary Borghello from Cornerstone OnDemand as well as representatives from Washington, Oregon, California and Alaska. Everyone on the Board of Directors is either on the autism spectrum or closely related to someone who is. Autism Empowerment volunteers and staff are authentic and proactive autism allies with a vision of a better world.
Key Programs (Specific Details available upon request):
• Autism and Scouting (Sensory Friendly Scouting for Youth of All Abilities, Cross-Scouting Community Training Summit, Autism & Scouting Youth Leadership Training)
• Autism Empowerment Radio podcasts (over 135 free shows available on-demand)
• Autism Serves (inclusion-based volunteerism for individuals, families, nonprofits and business entities)
• Community Outreach (Resource Referral, In-Person and Online Support Training, Men’s Autism Support Group, Self-Advocates Autism Support Group, Social Media, Blogging, Exhibiting, Parent Education Workshop Series, Special Events)
• Signature Event - 3rd Annual Egg Hunt & Cross-Disability Resource Fair served 1,300+ attendees and 40 agencies in 2014 (served 450 in 2012 and 1,100+ in 2013)
For program development, our strategy has been to first pilot programs and services regionally and then expand those programs online and nationally. For example, training manuals and online webinars we developed in our Autism and Scouting program are currently being utilized in all 50 states and a number of countries.