Accomplishments 2014

Current Accomplishments

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 increased from 38,000 to over 45,000 families. An average of 600 new families joined our membership every month.

2. Our programs were available to the entire U.S., maintaining a Chapter presence in 22 states with the help of over 500 volunteer Chapter Coordinators, Mentors and program volunteers. These incredible volunteers gave 37,981 volunteer hours to help TACA deliver our mission.

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 40,648 requests – 72% of them handled by our volunteer TACA Chapter Coordinators and Mentors. Requests were in English and Spanish – via phone, email and live chat.

5. TACA made 401 Mentor introductions of families needing assistance on their autism journey. Mentoring occurs in 16 languages.

6. Provided education, community and support at over 372 Chapter Meetings, Coffee Talks and events at no cost to participants in 65 cities. TACA added 2 chapters in Florida and Michigan.

7. Distributed 2,739 Autism Journey Guides (in its 9th revision) and over 150,000 “My Child has Autism” information cards were distributed to families.

8. Hosted almost 50 family events where over 4,000 parents and children gathered in autism- friendly environments.

9. Continued to provide critical advocacy and Spanish Community parent education along with support programs for families.

A) The Spanish Community Outreach program presented and participated in 13 local educational conferences catering to individuals with disabilities in the Latino community. This program supported close to 300 parents at Spanish Coffee Talk meetings in the Los Angeles area, San Diego and Orange County, CA, Texas and Las Vegas, NV.

B) Our Legal Advocacy program (Orange County only) provided 11 free legal clinics and helped over 40 families navigate the complex educational maze for their children.

10. We provided 67 scholarships to families for treatment through our Family Scholarship Program, Hawaii Autism Foundation (HAF) Scholarships, TACA MAPS Doctor Scholarships, TACA North Dakota Chapter Project Lifesaver Scholarship, TACA Pennsylvania Chapter Summer Camp Scholarships, SNL Reading Tutor Scholarship, TACA Autism Community Scholarship for an EEG with Dr. Stein, and Mendability therapeutic scholarships. We also provided 215 TACA Program scholarships.

11. TACA Staff and Autism professionals presented 36 free webinars reaching approximately 1,100 families across the United States. Surveys reflected that 97% of webinar participants received information that will help them on their child’s autism journey.

12. TACA provided a job skills training and weekly learning environment for adults with autism through our TACA Adult work program.

COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS

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

14. Happy Family Brands continued supporting TACA via their MOMS ON A MISSION campaign assisting our Parent Support program and Ante up for Autism event.

15. Current membership and participation in the Global Autism Collaboration, a collection of organizations dedicated to parent-driven research and other united efforts.

16. Present at 6 national conferences where TACA Mentors provided individualized support to over 5,000 attendees.

17. Due to collaborative efforts with the Autism Hawaii Foundation, 21 families received medical and social skills camp scholarships.

18. Two new physicians became members of the TACA Physician Advisory Group, Dr Anju Usman and Dr Nancy O’Hara. This group continued to help review new medical information and research to broaden physicians and parents’ knowledge about the treatments available for autism.

19. TACA partnered with My Autism Team for their autism resource provider directory.

20. Festival of Children hosted their 7th annual Carousel of Dreams at Disneyland to raise awareness and provide funds for 10 California foundations. This effort raised over $240,000.

FUNDRAISING & EVENTS

21. Oakley’s Special Edition TACA Autism Sunglasses launched in April 2010. Since created, Oakley has sold over 18,000 pairs of glasses to support the TACA mission and raise autism awareness.

22. Six new members were invited to join our Ambassador Committee (now with a total of 16 members) who raised almost $100,000 and awareness for the organization.

23. Continued our partnership with 93.1 Jack FM for Jack’s 9th Show, a concert benefitting TACA. This nine-year relationship has raised a cumulative total of almost $300,000.

24. TACA’s 8th Annual Ante Up For Autism held in Orange County, CA raised over $372,000.

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

LEADERSHIP

26. We welcomed Keith Banning to our Board of Directors.

27. TACA has hosted Autism Conferences every year for the past 9 years. In 2014, TACA held Real Help Now Conferences in Pennsylvania, Minnesota and California with nearly 1,000 people in attendance. Survey results indicated that 100% of attendees would recommend other families to attend. Over 700 conference workbooks were distributed to attendees to utilize during the conference and serve as a take-home resource.

28. TACA held its 8th Annual Leadership Conference in January for 65 Chapter Coordinators and Key Volunteers from 22 states. Attendees received in-depth training on TACA’s Mission, Programs, Services, and Chapter Operations.

29. Created a 3 year Strategic plan.

MEDIA

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

31. Our website, tacanow.org, received 1,900,000 page views from users. 37 new parent education articles and major updates were added to our website.

32. The TACAnow blog had a record 42 posts and almost 250,000 readers (Including 19 guests posts from our Physician Advisory Board and other TACA volunteers).

33. As part of ongoing web updates, we added 10 family stories to the website (now a total of 58 stories) that included photos, ATEC and Treat Autism Chart to detail their autism journey and help inspire other families regarding treatment and therapies.

34. We shared over 12,000 updates including, support, tips and news through social media outlets: TACA’s national Yahoo! Group (TACA-USA) (total subscribers 3,000), National & Chapter specific Facebook (total subscribers of 36,800) and Twitter (total subscribers of 8,400).

35. Our member list received more than 300 e-newsletters from TACA’s national office and chapters with a circulation of more than 42,000.

36. Completed TACA’s 2013 Annual Report and made it available through our website.

AUTISM AWARENESS EFFORTS INCLUDED

37. TACA’s 9th Family & Friends Campaign produced over 100 personal family stories and raised over $170,000.

38. Our 3rd annual Family Celebration campaign set sail to collect family stories about children living with autism and their improvements. For more info: www.flickr.com/photos/talkaboutcuringautism/sets/72157649994456792/

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