Accomplishments: 2012

Current Accomplishments

Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) provides real help now for children with autism and their families. We educate, empower, support and connect families with the resources they need to secure the best possible future for their children.

2012 Annual Report
2012 Annual Report

COMMUNITY SERVED

1. Membership grew to over 31,000 families, nearly 3,000 in one year. An average of 400 new families join each month.

2. Our programs were available to the entire U.S., maintaining a presence in 18 states.

PROGRAMS & SERVICES

All programs and services are provided at little or no cost to families. To ensure access for all families, we provided scholarships for any fee based programs we offer. Read more about our programs and services.

3. Parent support team & volunteers responded to almost 15,450 requests - in English and Spanish - via phone, email and live chat. This is a new record for TACA: 59% increase from 2011. Over 5,000 requests for support were responded to by TACA volunteers.

4. Our TACA Mentors made over 500 mentor-mentee connections reaching out to support thousands of families needing assistance on their autism journey. The number of connections this year was another record setting accomplishment for TACA. Thirty-two mentor training events took place and assistance via mentors is also provided in 7 languages.

5. Families benefitted greatly from the support, hard work and caring of over 500 volunteers in our chapters, mentor program and parent support programs.

6. Provided education, community and support at over 325 Chapter Meetings, and Coffee Talks at no cost to participants.

7. Distributed over 3,000 free Autism Journey Guides (in it’s 6th revision) and over 150,000 “My Child has Autism” information cards to families. TACA introduced our guides for families as a two volume series: Early Childhood Development – Volume 1 and the newly created Volume 2 for Maturing Adults.

8. Hosted a variety of family events where almost 10,000 parents and children gathered in 25 different autism friendly environments.

9. Continued to provide critical parent education and support programs for families.

2012 in Review
2012 in Review

A) Our Spanish Community Outreach program presented and participated in nearly 10 local educational conferences catering to individuals with disabilities in the Latino community. This program responded to over 373 calls, 517 emails, and supported close to 345 parents at Spanish Coffee Talk meetings in Los Angeles, Orange County, and Las Vegas, NV.

B) Our Legal Advocacy program (Orange County only) responded to 737 requests for legal consultation and advice by way of phone call, electronic communication and in-person meetings. The program provided one-on-one support to families about navigating the IEP process; delivered pertinent legal information to nearly 130 participants through legal education seminars; reviewed and evaluated 20 IEP’s and consulted with parents on potential compliance issues empowering parents to advocate on behalf of their child.

10. We provided 51 families with scholarships toward treatment through our Family Scholarship Program, Hawaii Autism Foundation (HAF) Scholarships, HAF Vision Therapy Scholarships, TACA Dr. Rossignol Scholarships and TACA Philadelphia Liberty Me Grants.

11. More than 200 copies of books and DVDs were added to TACA Chapter Libraries.

COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS

12. Our organization participated and is a current member of the Global Autism Collaboration, a collection of organizations dedicated to parent-driven research and other united efforts.

13. Through our partnership in AutismCares, TACA and four other national non-profit organizations provided financial assistance to 280 families in crisis.

14. We were present at 6 national conferences where TACA Mentors provided individualized support to over 5,000 attendees.

15. Due to collaborative efforts with the Beautiful Son Foundation/Autism Hawaii Foundation and Liberty Me Foundation families received dedicated assistance in Hawaii and Pennsylvania.

16. The TACA Physician Advisory Group featuring Dr. Bob Sears, Dr. Dan Rossignol, Dr. Elizabeth Mumper, Dr. Cindy Schneider, Dr. David Berger and Dr. Richard Frye continued to help review new medical information and research in an effort to educate physicians about the treatments available for autism.

17. We participated in an iPad Autism & Communication study, created a project video and a parent tool kit for families, so they could learn more about the benefits in using this type of device for individuals with autism. For more info: https://tacanow.org/miscellaneous/ipads-and-autism/

18. TACA partnered with Autism Live to create WHAT’S LEFT? an allergy free cooking class series and parent education effort.

19. We now collaborate with My Autism Team for their provider directory.

FUNDRAISING & EVENTS

20. Oakley’s Special Edition TACA Autism Sunglasses launched in April 2010. Since created, Oakley has sold over 16,000 pairs of glasses to support the TACA mission and raise autism awareness. This year, Oakley created more awareness by featuring TACA in their ONE ICON Magazine with an in-depth article and video of TACA’s efforts families we serve. For more info http://tacanow.org/miscellaneous/oakley-one-icon/.

21. TACA’s Ambassador Committee (comprised of 10 members) raised almost $70,000 and awareness for the organization.

22. Continued our partnership with 93.1 Jack FM for Jack’s Seventh Show, a concert benefitting TACA. This seven-year relationship has raised a cumulative total of over $260,000.

23. We held three family picnics: in California, Georgia and Maryland where we raised $80,000. Over 2,100 people attended and 200 scholarships were granted for families to able to attend.

24. TACA’s 6th Annual Ante Up For Autism held in Orange County, CA raised over $260,000.

25. We received in-kind donations of products and services to help offset expenses with an estimated value totaling almost $200,000.

LEADERSHIP

26. We welcomed Elizabeth McCoy to our Board of Directors.

27. For the 9th year, TACA held Real Help Now Conferences in Nevada & Georgia serving over 300 families.

28. TACA held its 6th Annual Leadership Conference in January for 65 Chapter Coordinators and Key Volunteers from 20 states. Attendees received in-depth training on TACA’s Mission delivery, Programs, Services, and Chapter Operations. Through these volunteer efforts, leaders in their communities were able to reach 30% more families in 2012.

MEDIA

29. Almost 20 national and local media articles featured information about our organization and Chapters, highlighting TACA’s relevance in autism related issues. For more info: http://tacanow.org/category/news/

30. TACA Founder Lisa Ackerman was featured as the OC Metro CEO Centerfold and OC Family Magazine as an Orange County Supermom. For more info: http://tacanow.org/category/news/

31. Our website, tacanow.org, received almost 1,000,000 visits by users who accessed over 1.6 million pages of information. Ten new articles and major updates were added to our website.

32. The TACAnow blog had a record 83 posts and over 125,350 readers (Including 20 guests posts from our Physician Advisory Board and our own staff attorney).

33. We shared over 10,000 updates including , support, tips and news through social media outlets: TACA’s national Yahoo! Group (TACA-USA), National & Chapter specific Facebook, and Twitter.

34. TACA member list received more than 300 e-newsletters from TACA’s national office and chapters with a circulation of more than 31,000.

AUTISM AWARENESS EFFORTS INCLUDED

35. TACA’s 8th Family & Friends Campaign produced over 100 personalized family stories and raised almost $120,000.

36. Our year end celebration campaign was launched to collect family stories about children living with autism and their improvements. In just two days, we received over 200 inspirational stories about individuals with autism making great strides. For more info: http://www.flickr.com/photos/talkaboutcuringautism/sets/72157632301247683/

37. The Autism Youth Ambassadors Program expanded from 22 to 30 high school campuses.