Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.
The I’m Determined project, a state directed project funded by the Virginia Department of Education, focuses on providing direct instruction, models, and opportunities to practice skills associated with self-determined behavior. This project facilitates youth, especially those with disabilities to undertake a measure of control in their lives, helping to set and steer the course rather than remaining the silent passenger.
WHAT is People First and the A Life Like Yours Toastmasters? People First is an advocacy organization designed for and run by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It was started in the 1990’s and we keep that momentum going strong by inviting people of all abilities to join us and learn about advocacy priorities that affect them. A Life Like Yours Toastmasters is an adapted Toastmasters public speaking club that meets in combination with People First. During the Toastmasters portion of our meetings, we focus on learning about how to be good public speakers and helping others do the same.
People First for Young Adults is a social and self-advocacy group for youth with disabilities ages 14-26. The goal of the group is to help individuals with disabilities understand the importance of self-advocacy and empower them to speak out for themselves. Youth practice public speaking skills, plan social outings, learn from guest speakers on topics of life skills and advocacy, and projects to enhance social skills.
Student voice is any expression of any learner anywhere, anytime focused on learning, schools or education. This can include, but isn’t limited to, active or passive participation, knowledge, voting, wisdom, activism, beliefs, service, opinions, leadership, and ideas. Student Voice reflects identity, and comes from a person’s experiences, ideals, and knowledge. Student voice is the individual and collective perspective and actions of young people within the context of learning and education.