The outreach and resource services available through ASERT connect existing resources and pockets of expertise, and help address regional gaps in effective services and supports.
Pennsylvania Autism Census Update
The Pennsylvania Autism Census Project, released in 2009, documented the growth in number and statewide profile of individuals living with autism. Efforts to identify individuals with autism throughout Pennsylvania for the Pennsylvania Autism Needs Assessment preliminarily indicate that the prevalence of autism is higher than the Pennsylvania Autism Census Project initially projected it would be. This project, the 2011 PA Autism Census Update, is using secondary data to document the existing prevalence of autism in Pennsylvania and produce a release of results for wide dispersion across the Commonwealth. The 2011 PA Autism Census Project Update will seek to update the census conducted in 2005 with additional years of data from the Pennsylvania Departments of Public Welfare and Education, the Department of Labor and Industry, the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, the Office of Medical Assistance Programs, the Office of Children, Youth and Families, Crime and Delinquency, and the Department of Corrections. The intention of this project is to reveal the scope of need for autism-specific services and programs and to inform policy development and the design of effective services. Given trends and projected numbers from the 2011 census update, we expect that number has risen to over 55,000 children and adults in PA with autism. It is estimated that there are approximately 8,395 adults with autism (21+) in Pennsylvania today (2013).
Statewide Toll-free Number and Website
Through the toll-free number, Individuals, professionals and families can contact a live person and access resources available by region and statewide. The website is a central resource for families, providers, community members, and self-advocates, and allows you to access a broad array of information to help meet the needs of those living with or serving people with autism via the Internet. The ASERT Statewide Website is an integral part of ASERT’s effort to broaden outreach to individuals with and affected by autism. The website hosts an online resource database and will be continually updated with news, events, and trainings.
ASERT outreach specialists are available to attend local and regional conferences, support group meetings and community events. Additionally, members of the ASERT collaborative regularly share their expertise by presenting at conferences and trainings.