The 15th Annual Autism Awareness Walk, originally slated for May 2, 2020, was postponed. We are pleased to announce that we have a tentative reschedule date! As long as guidance from the CDC and NYS says it is safe to do so, we will host the Walk on Saturday, September 12, 2020, at the Clinton County Fairgrounds. In the meantime, we wish everyone good health!
The Autism Awareness Walk is a family-friendly, inclusive event which focuses on increasing awareness, acceptance, and understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), while also raising funds to support our mission to empower individuals and families touched by ASD through support and education. The route is wheelchair and stroller accessible and takes place rain or shine.
The first Autism Awareness Walk was held in 2005 at the Oval in Plattsburgh. The community welcomed this annual event with open arms. In 2011, the founders of the Walk chose to organize into a non-profit organization, and Autism Alliance of Northeastern NY (AANENY) was born. The charitable purpose of AANENY is to empower individuals and families touched by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties through support and education. The Autism Awareness Walk is the sole fundraising event for AANENY. All funds raised stay within our tri-county community.
Funds raised last year were used in the following ways:
Provided technology grants to individuals with ASD, which included iPads and software to support communication, socialization, organization, time management, etc. Also provided grants to individuals for sensory equipment, including swings, trampolines and weighted blankets, to assist with self-regulation, emotional control, attention, etc. Both of these grants also help to improve the individuals' interactions and relationships in the home and community.
Provided funding for Sensory kits to be distributed to every agency in Clinton County that provides EMS services and transportation (with special thanks to Christina Zielinski, South Plattsburgh Fire Department, and Clinton County EMS Advisory Committee).
Continued our new community grant to address social and recreational opportunities for adults on the spectrum.
Provided grants to many local schools and organizations; grant monies were used to expend inventory of sensory equipment, educational materials, and class offerings to benefit individuals with ASD.
Offered scholarships to local students with ASD to attend college or secondary education.
Donated ASD-related titles to schools in the tri-county area and to the CEF Library System.
Partnered with other local agencies at family-friendly events to promote autism awareness as well as awareness of other community resources.
Distributed annual publication of Regional Autism Resources to assist the community with locating local resources that support individuals with ASD.
* Hosted Puppets in Education at Momot Elementary School in Plattsburgh. This troupe provides education through an inclusive model, which promotes empathy for autistic individuals by modeling, labeling, explaining, and normalizing the characteristics of autism, while never singling out any individual who may be participating in the program.
Last year's Walk was led by Team Ohmcentric, pictured below, who raised over $3,100!
Team Ohmcentric (above) - top fundraising team in 2019