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Programs to Serve the Lifespan

Advocacy & Awareness

The Autism Foundation of Oklahoma is passionate about supporting efforts that make Oklahoma a more inclusive, autism-friendly state. Through education and meaningful partnerships, we lend our voice to a number of issues that affect autistic lives, such as improved access to healthcare, inclusive classrooms, neurodiverse workplaces, and safer communities.

Every year in April, AFO co-hosts a statewide advocacy day at the Oklahoma State Capitol with six other autism and disability-focused organizations. This event offers a resource fair, speakers, and a chance to engage your state legislators on the autism issues that impact you or your family members.

AFO recently celebrated the successful passage of HB3671, signed by Governor Kevin Stitt in April 2024. This bill will allow autistic adults to voluntarily disclose their diagnosis on their Driver’s License or State ID, voluntarily add additional info into OLETS, and provide autism training for law enforcement officers across the state.

Community Outreach

Social Opportunities for Oklahomans with autism and their families

AFO offers three socials each month in the OKC and Tulsa metro areas. Our socials serve as a fun, safe, inclusive gathering that promotes socialization, connection, and friendship for those on the autism spectrum, where they can unmask, unwind, and be authentic! Through monthly activities that encourage trying new things, the socials aim to offset the statistics of suicide, social isolation, and depression in those with autism while also fostering an environment conducive to the growth of self-confidence, enhancing social skills, and practicing autonomy for better assimilation into a community not inherently built for them.

Follow our social media pages for the latest venue information: @AutismFoundationOK on Instagram And Facebook or @AutismFoundOK on X.

If you would like to learn more about our socials and other upcoming events, please contact Carley Marissa Dummitt at cdummitt@autismfoundationok.org.

Early Childhood

Early childhood care and education provide a vital role in the development and well-being of children. AFO has recently partnered with Oklahoma Partnerships for School Readiness to offer two autism training programs for childcare providers and consultants across the state.

Navigating Autism

This six-hour training for child care professionals offers comprehensive knowledge and practical strategies to support children with autism. Covering essential topics like understanding autism characteristics and implementing evidence-based interventions, participants gain insights into effective communication, behavior management, and fostering positive social interactions. Participants will receive a certificate of completion for 6.0 hours of continuing education and an AFO Sensory Kit valued at $85.

ASCEND Project

Thanks to the generous support of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness (OPSR), we are thrilled to launch the ASCEND program. This initiative focuses on improving autism knowledge among Oklahoma’s child care consultants through expert-led sessions and interactive educational experiences. Through informative sessions, participants will engage in a specialized curriculum emphasizing autism awareness, individualized planning, and fostering inclusive settings.

UPCOMING TRAINING DATES FOR NAVIGATING AUTISM

Date: June 8, 2024
Time: 9 am-3 pm
Location: OSU-Tulsa, North Hall, Room 150
700 N Greenwood Ave, Park in Lot E, Tulsa, OK 74106
Sign-up here.

Date: August 10, 2024
Time: 9 am-3 pm
Location: Virtual
Sign-up here.

Date: August 24, 2024
Time: 9 am-3 pm
Location: Museum of the Great Plains
601 NW Ferris Ave, Lawton, OK 73507
Sign-up here.

Navigating Autism Flier For Printing

If your center is interested in learning more about this training, please contact ckott@autismfoundationok.org.

Employment & Transition

Providing training and business solutions to Oklahoma’s employers

L.E.A.D. (Learn. Educate. Accept. Develop)

L.E.A.D. is a workplace inclusion training from the Autism Foundation of Oklahoma that provides training and business solutions to employers committed to diversity and equity.

Learn the benefits of hiring individuals with autism and I/DD, how to attract and interview neurodiverse candidates, and foster an inclusive work environment that includes and respects individuals with cognitive differences.

L.E.A.D. can be offered in person or via Zoom. 

Module Topics Include:

  • Autism, I/DD, & Neurodiversity 101
  • Inclusion in the Workplace
  • Recruiting, Interviewing, and Workplace Accommodations
  • Onboarding, Retention, & Career Advancement; Q&A Session

Sponsored by:

Autism-Friendly Business

The Autism Friendly Business Training Program by AFO empowers your business to effectively serve clients and customers with diverse needs. Through two engaging modules, your business will gain insights into sensory considerations, develop communication strategies, and receive practical tips to provide a more inclusive environment. These skills will foster a welcoming and compassionate atmosphere, leading to enhanced customer loyalty and a positive impact within the community. Upon completion, you’ll earn a prestigious certification showcasing your commitment to inclusivity.

For more information or to schedule training, please email Kyle Britt, Workforce Development Coordinator, at kbritt@autismfoundationok.org.

Health Equity

Autistic individuals often experience barriers in traditional healthcare settings that can have a significant impact on their daily lives. Inequities based on race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and location of residence can make it exceedingly difficult for them and their families to reach their full potential for health and life in their community. To help alleviate these issues, AFO provides training and resources to help Oklahoma’s healthcare professionals better understand and serve autistic patients in all types of healthcare environments.

COVID-19 Pandemic Resources

Suicide Prevention and Awareness

Public Safety

AFO offers several public safety initiatives and resources to help autistic individuals feel safe in their communities. Our Project: Safe Stop event gives drivers and passengers with autism the opportunity to practice safe traffic stops with police in a controlled environment. We also provide autism education and sensory kits to local police, firefighters, and EMTs to help them better assist Oklahomans with autism and special needs.

Training and Resources Available:

For more information about AFO’s Public Safety program, contact Chandee Kott at ckott@autismfundationok.org.

To schedule Emergency First Responders Training, contact Lt. Rayn Woodard at james.woodard@okc.gov.

To schedule Autism Training for Law Enforcement, contact Cory Sutton at Cory.Sutton@odmhsas.org.

To schedule our Justice System Reform training, contact Kyle Britt at kbritt@autismfoundationok.org.

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