History of GRASP

GRASP’s History:
The idea of the Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership (GRASP), was first discussed by a group of individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome seeking to form an organization run by people with Asperger’s and Autism Spectrum Disorders, in order to help their peers. In 2003, GRASP was gifted a generous grant by the FAR Fund and subsequently filed for 501(c)3 status to become a non-profit.

GRASP’s Now:
Since then, the GRASP team has expanded the organization to include more programming specific to increasing the independence of Autistics and disabled individuals. GRASP’s team has established workshop programs, social events and groups, as well as increasing the visibility of Autistic and disabled adults within society through collaborative work with high profile regional, national, and international organizations. GRASP’s team also advocates for cross-disability approaches to policy, research, and collaboration as well as acknowledgement of and respect for intersectional experiences among community members.

GRASP’s Approach:
Committed to Meeting the Needs of Adults and Teens on the Autism Spectrum . . .
With an emphasis on Community-Based Outreach and Individual Self-Advocacy, GRASP’s by-laws stipulate that the Executive Director, 100% of the Advisory Board, and 50% of the Board of Directors of GRASP must be Autistic or disabled individuals.
 
Advocating for Individuals on the Spectrum . . .
On a National level, GRASP advocates for fair representation of Autistic and disabled Adults and Teens in Media and Public Policy. At the Local level, GRASP advocates for the needs of Individuals by offering Programs & Training which seek to increase their Independence, Self-Advocacy, and Quality of Social, Academic, and Workplace Interactions.  

A Network of Support . . .
Through a network of Regional Support Groups and Online Chat Groups, GRASP helps Adults and Teens internationally. GRASP also offers support to Family Members, Caregivers, Support Team members, and Clinicians through Presentations, Workshops, and Free In-Person & Online Discussion Groups.
 
Reaching Students in Need . . .
GRASP’s In-School Programs offer Autistic and disabled students in Public, Private, and Post-Secondary Academic Settings an effective way to learn Independent Living and Transition skills, Self-Advocacy, Communication, Interpersonal Relationships, and Social Interaction. Our programs are focused on historically economically and socially disadvantaged communities, most specifically the Bronx and Queens in New York City and rural areas of Hawaii County in Hawaii.
 
Educating the Larger Community . . .
GRASP collaborates with Employers, Educators, Corporations, and the Public by creating customized goal and solution based Presentations and Workshops developed and facilitated by Certified Autism Specialists on topics such as Employment, Daily Living Skills, Transition, Dating & Relationships, Socialization, Self-Advocacy, and many more.