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News from Across Virginia

iPad Grant Application is Open

November 2014: iPad Grant Application is Open!

Autism Speaks is thrilled to announce that the application for our annual iPad award program is now open!

1,176 iPad 4s will be given to financially disadvantaged individuals with autism. We are also including a Kraken A.M.S. case, by Trident Case with each iPad!

Eligible applicants are individuals who:

    • Have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder by a licensed professional
    • Reside in the United States
  • Have limited income and cannot afford to purchase an iPad

Technology Grant Timeline

November 10: Online Application Opens
November 14: Application Closes at 11:59PM EST
November 17 - December 5: Review Committee Selects Recipients
December 9: Recipients Announced and iPads sent out!

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted by the person with autism, an immediate family member of the person with autism, or a licensed teacher, social worker or therapist. The Technology Grant Review Committee will review applications and select the iPad award recipients. All applicants selected to receive an iPad 4 will be contacted on December 9. If selected, the iPad will be shipped via UPS directly to the address provided with the application. Others will receive an email informing them of their status.

Click here to apply!

You must create a login and further instructions will be provided.

Note: Only applicants in the United States will be considered. We cannot accept applications from outside the United States.

Autism Speaks would like to thank Trident Case for their generous donation of Kraken A.M.S. cases.

Questions or comments?
Contact us at or (888) 288-4762.


Alexandria City Public Schools and ACE: Continuing the Momentum

Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) has partnered with ACE as a division in the Cohort 2 Phase of the ACE Embedded Technical Assistance Project. Their application was among the top scorers on the selection rubric. What impressed ACE staff most about this dynamic division was that an Autism Plan had already been in place since 2011. When the ACE-ACPS relationship began last spring, the Autism Team, headed by Dr. Erin Stone, BCBA-D, were revising this comprehensive plan to focus their efforts. The Autism Workgroup in ACPS, which includes parent members, is extremely active and progressive in their desire and advocacy in ensuring students with ASD receive the highest level of quality services. Most of the initiatives on their pre-existing ASD Plan were derived from an exhaustive strategic planning effort by a workgroup made up of school-based staff, administrators, Central Office staff as well as parents. This collaborative process of data collection and task development has resulted in several initial changes and improvements in how programs are evaluated and instruction is delivered throughout this division.

The ACPS parents and autism team recognized that joining forces with ACE would enable them to continue their momentum in accomplishing many of their priority goals. Last May, staff from ACE and ACPS forged ahead with a rigorous data collection process that included staff/parent surveys and a program evaluation tool called the Autism Program Environment Rating Scale (APERS). This initial collection of data yielded valuable information about current strengths in different schools as well as areas of need. These need areas were prioritized and the ACE/ACPS team will continue in the coming weeks to further refine the action steps and collect more baseline data across a variety of programs.

The ACPS/ACE Services Improvement Plan was crafted to address four main areas: Classroom supports using Evidence-Based Practices, Boosting Classroom Content, Process Improvements, and Development or Refinement of Coaching. The specific goals are centered on social and communication skills through utilization of a practical planning tool, development and implementation of an ASD specific IEP protocol, and development of coaches across the division for social/communication efforts. The ACPS and ACE team are excited about these focus areas because they address the urgent needs of the ASD population as the division looks towards making every ACPS student “career and education” ready upon graduation.


Chesapeake Makes Great Strides

The Chesapeake Autism Service Improvement Team (ASIT) worked hard all summer developing their SIP (Service Improvement Plan) goals and looking deeply at where they are now and where they want to be in 5 to 7 years. As we move into the fall much has been accomplished to lay the groundwork for goal progress. Target classrooms have been identified for intensive assessment, coaching and training initiatives are in place for the 2014-2015 school year. Coaches have been identified and Coaches’ training will take place on October 17, 2014. Subcommittees have been formed to serve as research and development teams for each of the 4 goal areas. Finally APERS (Autism Program Environment Rating Scale) assessments are planned for the target classrooms to begin this process. This team enjoys mixing pleasure with work! We have held planning meetings at fun and interesting venues – the Ocean View Fishing Pier, a member’s living room with an extensive lunch buffet, and a local library/café.

Chesapeake’s team members continue to evaluate their current infrastructures at the ground level, as well as the administrative level to strengthen our work on various initiatives. The team is dedicated to creating sustainable change in their division to support their teachers and increase student outcomes in communication, social skills, and transition.


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