Accomplishments: 2013

Current Accomplishments

2013 Annual Report
2013 Annual Report

Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) provides real help now for families; we educate, empower, support and connect families to obtain the best future possible for individuals living with autism.

COMMUNITY SERVED

1. Membership grew to over 38,000 families, nearly 7,000 in one year. An average of 600 new families join each month.

2. Maintained a chapter presence in 21 states with the help of 498 volunteers and 30,056 volunteer hours.

PROGRAMS & SERVICES

3. 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.

4. Parent support team and volunteers responded to 33,813 requests – in English and Spanish – via phone, email and live chat. This is a new record for TACA a 113% increase from 2012. Over 60% of these requests were answered by trained volunteers.

5. In our Mentor Program, mentoring matches increased by 23% to a total of 641. Seventy-nine mentor training events took place and with assistance provided in 7 languages.

6. Provided education, community and support at over 400 Chapter Meetings, Coffee Talks and events at no cost to participants in 51 cities. TACA started new chapters in Texas and Connecticut.

7. Distributed 3,100 Autism Journey Guides. Complimentary journey guides are provided to families at their initial visit to a TACA meeting.

8. 150,075 “My Child has Autism” information cards were distributed to families.

2013 in Review
2013 in Review

9. Hosted 20 different autism-friendly events where over 2,000 parents and children gathered.

10. The Spanish Community Outreach Program expanded its presence to include the state of Texas. Spanish Coffee Talk meetings are now being held in Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange Counties, Las Vegas, NV and Texas.

11. The Spanish Community Outreach Program presented and participated in 10 local educational conferences catering to individuals with disabilities in the Latino community.

Through this program we responded to 365 calls, 539 emails, and provided one-on-one support to 550 parents.

12. The Southern California Legal Advocacy Program responded to 572 requests for legal consultation and advice via phone, electronic communication and in-person meetings.

It provided information to families about navigating the IEP process; legal information to nearly 207 participants through legal education seminars; reviewed and evaluated 20 IEPs and consulted with parents on potential compliance issues to help parents advocate on behalf of their children.

13. We provided 175 scholarships to families through our Family Scholarship Program, Hawaii Autism Foundation (HAF) Scholarships, HAF Vision Therapy Scholarships, TACA Dr. Rossignol Scholarships and TACA Philadelphia Liberty Me Grants.

14. Webinars were introduced to the TACA membership. Over 1,400 families participated in 56 parent centric and 19 mentor specific sessions.

15. TACA crafted 71 new recipes, and partnered in 12 new online cooking classes with Autism Live creating WHAT’S LEFT?--an allergy free cooking class series to meet allergy needs.

COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS

16. We partnered with epilepsy organizations from across the country in the inaugural Epilepsy Awareness Day at Disneyland Resort. 1,200 individuals attended the event raising the community’s awareness of this disorder that affects 40% of children with autism.

17. We joined Happy Family by becoming a national partner to the leading premium organic food brand. Founder and CEO, Shazi Visram supported the partnership with a $50,000 grant to fund parent support programs.

18. Our organization participated as a member of the Global Autism Collaboration, a collection of organizations dedicated to public education, autism awareness, global collaboration and research.

19. Through our partnership in AutismCares financial assistance was provided to 132 families in crisis.

20. TACA Mentors provided individualized support to over 5,050 attendees at 6 national conferences.

21. Our Physician Advisory Group: Robert W. Sears MD, Dan Rossignol MD FAAFP, Elizabeth Mumper MD FAAP, Cindy Schneider MD, David Berger MD FAAP, and Richard Frye MD PhD, continued reviewing new medical information and research about the treatments available for autism.

FUNDRAISING & EVENTS

22. Over 18,000 pairs of Oakley’s Special Edition TACA Sunglasses have been sold since April 2010 helping to support our mission and raise the awareness of autism.

23. Flashback Jack, a concert benefitting TACA continued our partnership with 93.1 Jack FM. This eight-year relationship has raised a cumulative total of over $277,000.

24. Family picnics were held across the U.S. including California, Georgia, and Hawaii. Nearly $100,000 dollars were raised and 400 families participated through scholarships.

25. Our 7th Annual Ante Up For Autism was held in Orange County, CA raising $259,000.

26. In-kind donations of products and services were received to help offset nearly $300,000 in expenses.

LEADERSHIP

27. We welcomed Robby Saggu to our Board of Directors.

28. TACA celebrated 10 years of Real Help Now Conferences; with conferences in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and California.

29. TACA held its 7th Annual Leadership Conference in January. Sixty-five Chapter Coordinators and Key Volunteers attended from 21 states to receive training on mission delivery, programs, services, and chapter operations.

MEDIA

30. National and local media articles featured information about our organization and Chapters, highlighting TACA’s relevance in autism related issues.

31. Our website, tacanow.org, received 1,800,000 page views from users. Thirty-nine new articles were added to our website.

32. The blog TACAnow had a record 88 posts, including 30 guest posts from our Physician Advisory Board, Chapter Coordinators, and other TACA volunteers.

33. We introduced 39 additional family stories to the website.

34. We shared 10,300 updates including, support, tips and news through social media outlets: TACA’s national Yahoo! Group (TACA-USA), National & Chapter specific Facebook, and Twitter.

35. TACA’s 2012 Annual Report was available through our website.

AUTISM AWARENESS EFFORTS INCLUDED

36. TACA’s 8th Family & Friends Campaign raised over $150,000.

37. Our Family Celebration Campaign was launched to document stories about children living with autism and their improvements.

38. The Autism Youth Ambassadors Program expanded from 30 to 35 high school and college campuses.