2018 was a year of strategic planning as well as empowerment at NEXT for AUTISM. Our leadership looked back at 15 years of program building and planned forward. The process challenged us and affirmed our commitment to always ask, “What’s NEXT for autism?”
This year, we focused our energies on creating opportunities for adults, the fastest growing segment of the autism community. Whether disseminating our job training program to additional states, helping to put more people with autism into the workforce, or creating a curriculum to encourage participation in communities, our work reinforced our belief that people with autism have the potential to live fulfilling, productive lives when supported by excellent services and connected to their communities.
I’m proud to announce that three leaders have joined our staff. Dr. Patricia Wright, VP of Program Development, is a well-regarded expert in service delivery to people with autism. She recently managed the design of a statewide system of support for children with autism in Hawaii and has served as the National Director of Autism Services for Easter Seals. Larry Worth, VP of Corporate Consulting, leads the team that launched our new service, employment consulting to corporations to develop opportunities for people with autism. Amy Wallace, VP of Finance and Administration whose core work is to build the infrastructure NEXT needs to support its outstanding programmatic work, joins us after a career at the New York Times Company. With these additions, our staff has doubled in one year, empowering us to build program capacity.
None of this growth would have happened without your generous support of NEXT for AUTISM. I hope that you’ll share my excitement and pride as we look towards 2019. As an organization, we know that we cannot continue to innovate without you as our partners. On behalf of our dedicated board of directors and talented team, thank you for joining NEXT for AUTISM and seeing us through 2018!