January 2020
Remember that all funds raised in L.A. stay in L.A. at ASLA . . . 
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President's Message
Autism Society of Los Angeles in 2020
I look forward to an exciting and empowering year in 2020.  But first, I'd like to give a quick summary of what ASLA accomplished in 2019.  Last year saw an increased focus on improving our services to the diverse disability community in Los Angeles.  We made substantial efforts and progress in four major areas:

             1. Board Diversity and Representation
            2. Parent Empowerment Project
            3. Independent Facilitator Training
            4. Self-Determination Conference
1. Board Diversity and Representation

When I first joined the board of ASLA over six years ago, the board was not very diverse.  Composed entirely of parents of children with autism, the board did not reflect the diversity of community we were dedicated to serve.  Since then, ASLA has worked tirelessly to broaden the diversity of its governing board. Today, I'm happy to report that ASLA's board is more diverse, better qualified, and more engaged than ever. We now have two self-advocates on our board, who bring the voice of those directly affected with Autism to our efforts.  We have board members that not only represent the diverse racial profile of Los Angeles, but come from diverse background, including Educators, Service Providers, Financial Professionals, and Parents.  We expect to continue our strategic growth activities to improve and diversify our board in 2020 under the guidance of our Vice President, Mari-Anne Kehler.
2. Parent Empowerment Project(PEP)

For the last several years we have been working with our customer/partner, the Westside Regional Center, to administer a Department of Developmental Services (DDS) grant to improve service  delivery  to racially, economically, and language disadvantaged communities.  I am pleased to report that we successfully completed the 2019 portion of this grant in December.  Over the three-year period of the grant, ASLA was able to help over 190 families from the African American and Latino communities get increased levels of service to meet critical needs.  

As you might expect, the needs of the disability community are significant and varied, as shown in the graph below:

The ability to directly help so many families in the community has been a significant achievement.  We thank Rose Lasca and her PEP Squad members for their hard work and devotion to improving the lives of others.  We hope to continue similar projects in the future, as we await word on DDS funding in 2020.

3. Independent Facilitator Training

ASLA was proud to partner with Disability Voices United (DVU) to deliver Independent Facilitator Training targeted at non-native English speaking communities.  

Having trained Independent Facilitators in these communities is essential to allowing member of these communities fully participate in Self-Determination.  Over two full days, we were able to train 88 Independent Facilitators with the following language backgrounds:

Farsi, Dari, Amharic, Korean, Afrikaans, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin, Taiwanese, Cantonese, Vietnamese, American Sign Language, and Ta galog 

We firmly believe that delivering this training across the diverse language base of Southern California is essential providing equal opportunity for living a successful Self Determined life.
4. Self-Determination Conference

This fall, we were pleased to host over 400 Self-Advocates, Parents, Service
Providers, and Educators at our Self-Determination Conference.  Partnering with DVU, the conference was an enormous success, helping to maintain momentum as the option to elect Self-Determination as a service delivery model is extended to more and more members of the disability community. Thank you to all our  sponsors, speakers  and volunteers who made this a success.
So, what's the plan for 2020? We expect the year ahead to one of growth and continuity.  
  • We started preforming Person Center Plans as a service in 2019.  We expect the need for quality Person Centered Plans to increase as Self-Determination continues it roll-out.  
  • Our ASLA warm-line continues to get dozen of calls each week, from member of the community seeking advocacy and advice for navigating "The System". This one-on-one helping hand continues to be one of the more sought out services that ASLA provides.  
  • We expect to see more educational conferences and training sessions in 2020 as well.
I would also like to give a warm thank you to our community partners that help raise the funding that ASLA uses to provide these services.  Whether, it's the Santa Fe Springs Fire Department and their golf fund raiser, or the Woodly Park Archers and their Archery Tournament fund raiser, organizations like these recognize that funding is required to provide programming.  We are grateful that they believe ASLA programs are worthy of their financial support. We hope you do as well. Remember, every dollar raised in LA, stays in LA, with ASLA...
May you have a happy and successful New Year in 2020

Andy Kopito
President, Autism Society of Los Angeles

ASLA Events & Initiatives

Autism Society of Los Angeles
Thanks their Business Members for their generosity.
Learn more HERE

Interesting Opportunities
Meetup  events Los Angeles County HFA/Asperger's Adults 

January 2020 Listing of Events:

1)On Thursday, January 2nd, at 7:00 p.m. there will be an Adult Autism/Asperger's support group in Redondo Beach.  More information can be found here: 

a)On Thursday, January 16th, at 7:00 p.m. there will be a follow-up Adult Autism/Asperger's support group meeting in Redondo Beach.  More information can be found here:

2)On Saturday, January 4th, at 1:00 p.m. there will be West Hollywood Gateway Mall Discussion and Games event.  More information can be found here:

3)On Saturday, January 4th, at 1:30 p.m. I will be hosting a meeting event at Starbucks in West Los Angeles.  More information can be found here:

4)On Tuesday, January 7th, at 7:00 p.m. there will be an Autism/Asperger Women's in Redondo Beach.  More information can be found here:

5)On Wednesday, January 8th, at 7:00 p.m. I will be hosting an event at Starbucks in West Los Angeles.  More information can be found here:

6)On Friday, January 10th, at 6:30 p.m. at the Services Center for Independent Living, there will be Women's Group monthly meeting.  More information can be found here:

7)On Monday, January 13th, at 7:00 p.m. there will be a meeting event at Millie's Restaurant & Bakery.  More information can be found here:

a)On Monday, January 27th, at 7:00 pm. there will be another meeting event at Millie's Restaurant & Bakery.  More information can be found here:

8)On Thursday, January 16th, at 7:00 p.m. there will be a meeting event at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf nearby the Beverly Center in West Hollywood.  More information can be found here:

9)On Saturday, January 18th, at 2:30 p.m. there will the Autism Real Talks event at Tranquility House nearby USC.

10)On Tuesday, January 21st, at 7:00 p.m. I will be hosting a Monopoly Game night at Starbucks in West Los Angeles.  More information an be found here:

11)On Saturday, January 25th, at 1:30 p.m., I will be hosting the monthly game day event at Starbucks in West Los Angeles.  More information can be found here:

12)On Thursday, January 30th, at 6:00 p.m. I will be hosting the monthly Best Buddies Happy Hour event.  More information cab be found here:

PEERS® for Young Adults starting January 6th, 2020
  • 16-week evidence-based social skills intervention for motivated young adults, who are interested in learning skills to make and keep friends and develop romantic relationships.
PEERS® Bully-Proofing Boot Camp on January 25-26th, 2020
  • PEERS® Boot camps are open to all including children, teens, young adults, parents, and professionals
  • Attendees are presented with targeted skills through didactic instruction, role-play demonstrations, and have the opportunity to practice the skills through small group behavioral rehearsal exercises with direct coaching from our treatment team. 
PEERS® Adolescent Certified Training Seminar on January 15-17, 2020
  • Designed exclusively for mental health professionals and educators who are interested in implementing the PEERS® intervention and/or research in their clinical practice or educational setting. 
Please email us at peersclinic@ucla.edu if you are interested in any of these opportunities or have any additional questions!
You can also contact us at (310) 26-PEERS. Please visit us on the web at 
http://www.semel.ucla.edu/peers/training for additional information regarding the UCLA PEERS® Clinic.

HOW to SUPPORT Autism Society of Los Angeles
We are always in search of passionate and dedicated volunteers that can help individuals and families with developmental disabilities in Los Angeles and California. More information HERE

ASLA is mostly a volunteer-run organization that relies on donations to keep our programs and advocacy efforts continuing. Thank you for supporting our mission. All funds raised by ASLA stay in our community.  Donate HERE

Become a Member
Join our annual membership program, help support ASLA and receive benefits at Individual, Family or Business levels. More Information HERE

Sponsor a Program
Contact us at info@autismla.org for details on how to support ASLA and promote your organization.

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Autism Society of Los Angeles | info@autismla.org | autismla.org
21250 Hawthorne Blvd Suite 500, Torrance, CA 90503