Project Name/Section Title

Family Voices Community Autism Research Ambassador Program banner including photographs of Black/African American children and families and a colorful decorative pattern.

Community Autism Research Ambassador Program

Help change the face of autism research.

The Problem

There are large disparities in timing of diagnosis, access to care, referrals, and unmet needs for African American children with ASD.
(Constantino et al., 2020; Kuhlthau et al., 2001; Liptak et al., 2008; Maenner et al., 2020; Travers et al., 2014)

The Solutions

  • Engaging African Americans with ASD in research will help close gaps and promote equitable care.
  • To do this, the African American ASD community must engage with researchers to co-create a research agenda.

Who is the Community Autism Research Ambassador Program for?

The program is led by African American self-advocates and family members and empowers African American families and self-advocates to be more involved in autism research. The goal is to help develop autism research, services, and information that meet the needs of our community.

Participants in the Community Autism Research Ambassador Program learn about:

  • The basics of autism, the diagnostic process, and interventions
  • Early identification of autism with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” program​ materials
  • Becoming a stronger advocate
  • Patient-centered Outcomes Research
  • Research partnerships
  • Developing research topics and a plan to work with researchers

This program was funded through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award (EASC-IDD-00251)

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Our Vision

With families at the center of health care, all children and youth reach their full potential and health disparities are eliminated.

Our Mission

Family Voices is a national organization and grassroots network of families and friends of children and youth with special health care needs and disabilities that promotes partnership with families—including those of cultural, linguistic and geographic diversity—in order to improve health care services and policies for children.

In honor of