AFO's Programs Aim to Serve the Lifespan
The Autism Foundation of Oklahoma is passionate about supporting efforts that make Oklahoma a more inclusive, autism-friendly state. By providing education and forming 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 member.
Early Childhood Inclusion
Early childhood care and education provide a vital role in the development and well-being of children. The Training Oklahoma Childcare Providers to Support Children with Autism (TOCA) project is a three-tiered pilot program to increase quality childcare services for Oklahoma children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related disorders. AFO is proud to partner with Sunbeam Family Services, the Inasmuch Foundation, and the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma to support the first step in creating a statewide blueprint for supporting childcare centers in providing quality services to children with ASD and related disorders.
Supporting Oklahoma Children with Autism in the Child Care Setting is available and certified through CECPD for two hours of formal training.
- Training Oklahoma Childcare Providers to Support Children with Autism
- Sensory-Friendly Environment Training
For more information or to schedule training, please contact Emily Hayes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Providing training and business solutions to Oklahoma’s employers
Project: L.E.A.D. (Learn. Educate. Accept. Develop)
L.E.A.D. is a workplace inclusion project 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
For more information or to schedule training, please email Kyle Britt, Workforce Development Coordinator, at email@example.com.
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:
- Emergency First Responders Training
- Project: Safe Stop
- Sensory Kits
- Vehicle Safety Visor Cards
- Self-Identification Wallet Cards
For more information about AFO’s Public Safety program, contact Chandee Kott at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Justice System Reform
Autism Training for Oklahoma’s Courts
The court’s understanding of ASD can make an enormous difference in various juvenile, family, and criminal law cases. AFO now provides judges, lawyers, and other judicial professionals needed access to ASD education and experts with knowledge and experience in developmental disabilities and mental health.
A 2019 study by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Autism Research (CAR) showed that approximately 1 in 5 young adults with ASD would interact with a police officer before age 21. The U.S. Department of Justice reports that individuals with disabilities, including those with autism, are five times more likely to be incarcerated than people without disabilities.
Researchers agree that most individuals with high-functioning ASD are law-abiding citizens who are more likely to be victims of crimes than commit them. However, they are still seven times more likely to intersect with the criminal justice system than individuals without ASD.
If you would like to schedule a training for your staff, please contact Kyle Britt at email@example.com.
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.