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ACU ~ Grants Awarded / Grant Recipients

Applications and criteria for grants can be found on the web site under Resources/Grants.

100% of the funds raised by the ACU goes back into the State of Utah for autism programs. We are all volunteers.

2017 ~ Grants Awarded (So Far)

  • The Children’s Center – Funds to assist low to moderate income families who are receiving Autism Services.  The Children’s Center provides services on a sliding fee scale based on federal poverty guidelines.
  • Matt’s Place – Lifelong Skills Foundation, Inc. – Funds will be used to develop Emotional Regulation Group.  This group is based on principles of DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) in tended for adolescents and their parents.  It combines psychoeducational, CBT and experiential therapeutic principles.
  • Columbus Community Center – Digibility – Digitability teaches marketable, digital life skills to promote independence for students with autism in a technology driven society and economy.
  • Utah Valley University – Passages Program – Utilized to extend Passages capacity to serve more individuals and to offer personalized and autism specific support for students pursuing higher education at Utah Valley University.
  • Handstand for G.O.A.L.S. – A free two-day soccer camp for children ages 3-12 on the autism spectrum.  Each child is assigned a youth volunteer to accompany them throughout both days of the camp.  Funds are used for t-shirts, soccer balls for each child to keep, reinforcers, stickers, snacks, prizes, equipment, water bottles, backpacks, and lunch for volunteers.
  • HOME Program / Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic – Funds used to Introduce a trained therapy dog to the U of U HOME Program and ASDC will help create a safe, calm environment and facilitate therapeutic interactions between clients and providers.
  • Westminster College – NeuroDiversity Week
  • National Ability Center – Funds will be used to provide scholarships to individuals with ASD and their family members to participate in NAC mobile programming.  Mobile programs include off-campus activities such as indoor/outdoor rock climbing, river-rafting, paddle boarding, camping, and more.  These off-campus activities provide a range of challenges to match the variety of abilities found on the autism spectrum and can encourage individuals with autism to improve and strengthen communication and social skills.

2016 ~ Grants Awarded

  • Columbus Community Center – Disabilities Reception Sponsor
  • Utah Autism Academy – Tablets, cases and speech apps will be purchased for individuals with little to no ability to communicate.
  • Splore – Funds used to help approximately 50 individuals living with autism and their family members to experience an empowering, bonding, and meaningful adventure during the summer and fall of 2016.
  • Autism Solutions – Material for sensory room, sports teams, science, yoga and music.
  • U-TTEC – Examine the effectiveness of telehealth technologies (i.e., video conferencing, cloud-based storage, and remote observations) in assessing and treating pediatric feeling problems in children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
  • Sahara Cares – Funds used for a water park with various water inflatables and toys geared more towards adolescents and older children.
  • Cycle Ability – Special Needs Bike Camp
  • Soul-R-Eclipse – River trip for mothers of autistic children on a river wilderness retreat where they receive respite, networking, resources, coping skills and friendships.
  • Utah Regional Ballet – Free tickets for families and individuals affected by autism to enjoy a performance of the Nutcracker.
  • Enable Utah
  • Center for Persons with Disabilities – USU – The Project will provide extensive public awareness across the state regarding the free availability of the Employment Tool Kit and Spectrum Careers employment portal. Employment workgroups will be established in 7 target communities (e.g., Logan, Ogden, Salt Lake, Provo, Price, Richfield, St. George) to support the learning and use of the materials contained in the Tool Kit and use of Spectrum Careers by working age adolescents and adults on the autism spectrum, families, transition coordinators, vocational rehabilitation staff, and business leaders
  • Easter Seals
  • Spectrum Academy CREATE – Funds used to assist in the expansion of transition and work-based learning opportunities for students and to procure a classroom set of computers as well as the necessary software and curriculum.
  • U of U

2015 ~ Grants Awarded

  • University of Utah Dept of Psychiatry—To help sponsor the International Meeting for Autism Researchers (IMFAR) Pre-Conference that will be hosted in Salt Lake City Utah this year. The Pre-Conference is to tap into the expertise of international experts to accelerate projects that meet the needs of the intermountain autism community.
  • UVU Autism conference—Used to cover travel expenses for keynote speaker, Dr. Peter Gerhardt. Dr. Gerhardt will present a keynote address featuring information on educating the ASD student, transition preparation (from adolescent to adult) and parenting. The public is invited to attend the conference.
  • Education of the Year Award—Grant given to Bob Wadsen from Southern Utahto honor him for Teacher of the Year at the ACU Annual.
  • KostopulosDream Foundation—to sponsor Camp K Family Fun Day and Concert Event. More than 400 people spent the day at Camp K, enjoying everything that Camp K has to offer, including horseback riding, ropes course, swimming, fishing, and field games, plus a BBQ, face painting, and bounce house for the kids.  Scott Helmer also performed.
  • United Angels Foundation/Ride to New Heights—Cycling training for children with special needs that promotes inclusion for children with special needs by providing the with opportunities to learn to cycle. This is a weeklong cycling training with custom-built bike equipment, trained professionals and volunteers.     (Sponsorship)
  • Spectrum Academy— The funds would be used towards 4 iPads for my classroom needs. The iPads for the students would provide them with a chance to participate in learning while having fun and being fully engaged. I would also use the iPads for when students need sensory breaks throughout the day. I would use an iPad to instruct my students through the projector from an iPad.
  • SaharaCares Foundation— SaharaCares sponsors an Autism Carnival each year. The Carnival includes activities like a climbing wall, bungee trampolines, inflatables, carnival games, an Information Fair, face painting, a sensory area and a scavenger hunt. We also provide lunch, treats and prizes for the VIPs (children with autism) and their families at no charge. SaharaCares and event sponsors pay for everything.
  • Utah Autism Coalition— Educate Utah families coping with autism about their changing health care options. The UAC will collect information on Medicaid and private health insurance and present it to Utah families in easily understood forms. This will include both online resources and a public meeting. The online resources will be hosted on our site, but could be repackaged for any organization that wants to use them, including the ACU.
  • U of U iSTAR Project— Our University of Utah iSTAR research team seeks funding to purchase video camera and technology equipment for capturing our curriculum program. Our program has expanded and we will now be running multiple classrooms simultaneously. Recently, we ran a pilot program in cooperation with Columbus Community Center and Big D Construction in which the students were paid to perform a task for Big D Construction using SketchUp. We would like to expand this pilot program into internships and to work with other partners. This video equipment will provide the infrastructure for offering evidence-based and innovative curriculum and job opportunities for youth with ASD so that both life skills and job skills can be cultivated.
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic— The service for which we would like to receive grant support is social skills groups. Specifically, we would propose that ACU sponsor our Lego League team. The Lego League is for 9-14. We will be working together to build and program a robot using a Lego Mindstorm kit, and prepare for other tournament activities. Working together will provide several in-the-moment opportunities for the group members to practice social skills, coping skills, problem solving skills, executive function strategies, positive teamwork and friendship. A grant of $5000 would cover the cost of the registration for the event, the supplies to compete, and allow 10 members to participate in this group at a minimal cost to the family.
  • Carmen Pingree Autism Center— The greenhouse would provide a place for social opportunities with peers at school, as well as integration with community partners and neuro-typical peers. It would help facilitate learning skills and theories related to environmental science curriculum, commerce, gardening, healthy living, and nutrition. It would also help students learn to increase the quality and variety of their diet. The greenhouse would be a place other schools and community members could come work in partnership with our staff and students.
  • Utah Assistive Technology Program— The Assistive Technology Lab gets 8 to 10 requests every month from families for the use of one of our loaner iPads with various apps for children with special needs, particularly autism. The AT Lab currently has two loaner iPads, but the increase in requests means we don’t have enough. The AT Lab needs approximately 5 iPads to meet the demand of our consumers.Summit Behavior Services—
  • Summit Behavior Services — is currently developing comprehensive programs for children ages 2-26. We provide Outpatient and Day Treatment services. Most clients will receive between 5-30 hours of treatment a week. This grant will be used to purchase treatment programs and materials. This will allow us to provide greater access to treatment and to provide high quality services to families and individuals affected with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  • Critical Issues Facing Children and Adolescents Conference Sponsorship—To assist in the funding of this year’s pre-conference program focused on interventions for health and mental helath professionals working with youth and families with autism.
  • Southern Utah Autism Support Group—The Southern Utah Autism Support Group Provides suppoet and resources to help strengthen families of persons with ASD and related conditions. We held our first annual All Abilities Summer Kick Off Barbecue. This was a free event for families where they were able to enjoy carnival games, bounce houses, and free food. We had about 200 individuals attend. Our next activity is in October. We are doing an All Abilities Walk and Carnival.
  • Utah Regional Ballet— Our educational outreach program includes our annual Families Affected by Autism free performance. Because of the unique behavior associated with autism, families with autistic children often feel they cannot attend enriching live performances such as the ballet. Utah Regional Ballet recognizes this and feels it is important to offer a free performance annually for these families. This performance fills every seat in the house and these families love and appreciate this opportunity to attend the ballet in this comfortable atmosphere. This year, we are excited to offer this free performance to URB’s premiere production of Snow White and it will take place in Feb 2016.
  • Children’s Center—A grant will be used to offset costs of social skills groups and P.L.A.Y.2Learn groups for children with an autism spectrum disorder and their families. The grant will ensure that no family is turned away from receiving care based on an inability to pay.
  • Easter Seals-Goodwill
    • Wiggly Worm—classes in fall 2015 in Salt Lake City to help children with autism and sensory processing disorders interact with their world—at home, at school, on the playground, and in the community. Each session serves about ten children, and another 10-15 family members.
    • Lego Social Skills Club— The Lego Club is based on the book Lego Based Therapy: How to build social competence through LEGO®-based Clubs for children with autism and related conditions. By providing a joint interest and goal, LEGO® building has become a medium for social development such as sharing, turn-taking, making eye-contact, and following social rules. It is proposed to conduct 2 sessions with each session lasting for 4 weeks.

2014 ~Grants Awarded

  • Friday’s Kids Respite—Provide respite care for families with children who have autism and other disabilities. Provide over 45 children and families with a night of respite.
  • American Festival Chorus and Orchestra—Special accessible concert specifically for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental or age related disabilities and their families.
  • Utah State Developmental Center—iPads to be used with individuals who have a diagnosis of ASD to enhance their ability to communicate their wants and needs, enhance task completion, increase attention and to increase overall capacity.
  • Valley Behavioral Health—Materials for expansion of services to high school age adolescents at the Carmen Pingree Center focusing on teaching students life skills.
  • University of Utah Department of Psychiatry—Development of interactive web-based social skills game called Converse that provides adolescents and adults on the autism spectrum real life scenarios to engage in safe virtual conversations that can then be translated into practical application.
  • Discovery Gateway— To complete the schematics for the Journey Through Autism exhibit, a museum exhibition that will show the community what life is like on the autism spectrum through a series of multi-media experiential exhibits, community events, and presentations.
  • Utah Parent Center Family Links Conference—Scholarships for families to attend Family Links conference.
  • SaharaCares Foundation—Support the Carnival for Autism, a free event for children with ASD and their families. Many games and activities are provided as well as lunch, treats, prizes, and an information fair.
  • Soul-R-Eclipse—Contribute to a 3 day river retreat for Mothers of Autistic Children on the San Juan River in Southern Utah to provide mothers with mental health, wellness and human services counseling and networking with other “Autism” moms.
  • Clear Horizons Academy—Help sponsor a workshop featuring Daniel Opened, a nationally recognized speaker to present on helping teachers and others gain skills that will help them work with children on the autism spectrum on a daily basis.
  • University of Utah Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic—for Autism assessment, the clinic uses a sliding scale to evaluate who might qualify for relief in paying for the diagnostic assessment and helping families who qualify for support.
  • Utah Assistive Technology Foundation—Provide small assistive technology grants for low income children and adults with autism and other disabilities.
  • Easter Seals Goodwill Northern Rocky Mountain—Provide Wiggly Worm classes to help children with autism and sensory processing disorders, for children ages 3-6 and their caregivers.
  • Columbus Foundation—Sponsor the annual “Dignity Through Work” breakfast event, attended by nearly 300 people to honor community partners that have provided individuals with disabilities a paycheck and the self-esteem that come with meaningful employment.
  • The Children’s Center—Social skills Groups and P.L.A.Y., 2Learn. These programs address peer-to-peer and parent-child interactions, teaching parents how to engage with their child and the additional benefit of peer-to-peer support.
  • University of Utah/BYU—Statewide training for the early identification of autism developing a training curriculum and ongoing consultation with Utah’s Early Intervention agencies, health care providers and preschool special education providers.
  • South Ogden Junior High School—Purchase over 50 copies of the book, “The Reason I Jump” by Higashida to raise awareness of faculty, staff, and students of the struggles and triumphs of families dealing with autism.
  • Utah Health Care Association—Pay for purchase of iPod shuffles, headphones, external speakers, iTune Cards, USB power adaptors for approximately 37 individuals with autism.
  • Utah Regional Ballet—Educational outreach program for annual “Families Affected by Autism” free performance of “Once Upon a Time” giving families the opportunity to attend the ballet in a comfortable atmosphere.
  • Utah Assistive Technology Foundation—Provide small assistive technology grants for low income children and adults with autism and other disabilities to purchase iPad technology and related software/applications or other assistive technology appropriate to meet their needs

2013 ~ Grants Awarded

  • Discovery Gateway— To begin the design phase for Journey Into Autism, a 2000 square foot museum exhibition that will show the community what life is like on the autism spectrum through multi-media experiential exhibits, events and presentations.
  • iSTAR University of Utah–Purchase video equipment to cultivate technology talents and opportunities for students with autism, provide the infrastructure for offering evidence-based and innovative curriculum opportunities for youth with ASD.
  • Friday’s Kids respite—Provide respite care for families with a child with autism or other related disabilities.
  • Jordan Family Education Center—Provide funding for support groups for siblings of children with ASD to enhance rapport between children, emotional identification, problem solving skills, and coping skills.
  • The Children’s Center—Provide services for low to moderate income families using a sliding fee scale who have a child in Social Skills Groups, PLAY Project and PLAY to Learn services for children with ASD.
  • EnableUtah—Help fund Disabled Employment Assistance Program (DEAP), to help create community employment opportunities for adults with ASD.
  • Easter Seals-Goodwill—Wiggly Worm Sensory Processing class, a unique class for children ages 3-6 and their caregivers, taught by a trained occupational therapist to help parents learn specific techniques and tools to help children manage their sensory needs and responses to various sensory in-put.
  • Clear Horizons Academy—Pay for presenter Paula Kluth to present full-day workshop focused on helping teachers better support and connect with children with autism in their classrooms.
  • Discovery Gateway—To continue the design phase for Journey Into Autism, a 2000 square foot museum exhibition that will show the community what life is like on the autism spectrum through multi-media experiential exhibits, events and presentations.
  • Mt Pleasant Elementary—Purchase outside play equipment for playground at new school building, to help children with autism enjoy recess and enjoy the school playground more.
  • SaharaCares Foundation—Help support SaharaCares annual Autism Carnival for individuals with ASD and their families, carnival is free of charge and over 3,000 people attended.
  • Salt Lake Police Department Officers Autism training—Fund training for participants
  • Entheos Academy—To help sponsor after school technology based robotics program which includes students with autism, for laptop computer and equipment to allow students more hands on time with the robot kits and programing.
  • UAID Utah Association for Intellectual disabilities—Provide funding holiday gift boxes for 10 individuals with intellectual disabilitie.
  • Utah Parent Center—Provide funding and sponsorship towards Family Links Conference.
  • Carmen Pingree Center—Purchase of school bus for transportation of students to and from Pingree Center.
  • New Connections—RDI, Relationship Development Intervention services to children with autism spectrum disorders and their families, offering partial scholarships.
  • ACU received 40 iPads from an anonymous donor to give to autism programs and services, ACU was able to distribute the iPads among Community Treatment Alternatives, Utah Autism Academy, Utah Public Schools, and Utah State Developmental Center.

2012 ~ Grants Awarded

  • Utah Valley University—Support UVU annual Conference on autism for professionals, family members, service providers, educators, students and individuals with autism.
  • CTA Community supports–purchase programming supplies for new facility in Sandy that provides after school programs for children and day programs for adults with autism.
  • Spectrum Academy–Purchase student iPads, students receive instruction daily in executive function skills, planning, prioritizing, self-monitoring, homework management, goal setting, scheduling, on-line learning tools, and social skills.
  • Utah Personnel Development Center—Support UPDC to host an Autism conference in March for Educators and families, providing current information on evidence based intervention.s
  • Friends of Wasatch Mental Health Foundation–Help purchase a 12-15 passenger van for XCEL program which serves 75-100 adolescents in Utah County with autism.
  • SaharaCares Foundation— Help support SaharaCares annual Autism Carnival for individuals with ASD and their families, carnival is free of charge, last year about 3,000 people attended and they had approximately 250 volunteers.