In 2022, the Centre for Autism Services Alberta celebrates a quarter-century of service!
We are incredibly proud to have been able to offer services and programs to thousands of participants and their families over the past 25 years. Over the years, families, staff, volunteers, and sponsors have come and gone, but all have contributed something vital – the same heartfelt vision of ensuring that individuals on the autism spectrum lead meaningful, engaged lives. We have made it our mission to provide comprehensive and innovative supports and services to autisic individuals and their families.
As with any achievement, it makes us look back and take stock of what we have accomplished over the past 25 years. As an organization, we have seen significant growth in the numbers of individuals and families we serve. The need was always there, but as the years have passed, we have become bigger and better equipped to offer the services and programs that families want and need. We have incredible employees and volunteers, sponsors and donors, who have helped us reach into our communities and share what we have to offer. Here are just a few highlights from our first 25 years:
- Huge increase in community programs (now offering over 30 programs!)
- Expansion of the geographical communities we serve
- Began in Edmonton
- Now have a second office in Calgary
- Offer programs, services, and workshops across Alberta and beyond, and have participants join us from Saskatchewan, British Columbia, and the Territories.
- We have expanded the programs and services we offer for participants across the lifespan, from children under 5 to adulthood
- Our PUF programs for Pre-school and Kindergarten have been moved on-site, and have doubled in size in the last 3 years alone
- With the onset of the pandemic, we began offering as much virtual programming as possible, particularly for teens and young adults. Now we have participants joining our virtual social nights and other virtual programs from across the province and from rural communities where they may be otherwise unable to access programs
- Into the community with two student association partnerships at MacEwan University and the University of Alberta
One theme that has recurred when reviewing our first 25 years, is one of new beginnings. This goes hand-in-hand with all of the expansion and growth we have undertaken, and we continue to move forward with new beginnings this month as we move into our new location! After many years in our current location, we are moving to a new space.
We are thrilled to be moving into our new site for many reasons – one major one being the building itself. We were able to collaborate on the design and construction of the interior of the new site, and in so doing, we were really able to create our ideal space. The new Centre has expanded program spaces, windows on all sides, and a green space right outside our doors! On-site services such as our early childhood pre-K and Kindergarten programs will be moving to our new site as of May 26.
Your generosity will help us provide even more. We are beginning a new giving campaign – for new beginnings!
A major addition to our new site, and the primary focus for our first stage of the campaign, is the construction of an outdoor space (July) to be completed in time for the fall school term. This space is an essential addition to our early childhood programs. Our new outdoor area will also include a designated basketball zone, designed for the Quest program and available to all ages of participants.