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Media Relations

Communication Disorders Students form Autism Speaks U Chapter

Communication Disorders students have elected to form a Chapter of Autism Speaks U here at WKU.  Autism Speaks U was launched in 2008 as a program designed to support college students in their awareness, advocacy and fundraising efforts for Autism Speaks. It is an exciting and collaborative way for students to get involved with Autism Speaks and support their local autism community.

Since its inaugural event at Penn State in 2006, Autism Speaks U events have raised over $1 million and student-organized Walk teams have brought in millions more. Autism Speaks staff and volunteers support students in their efforts, while connecting them with other college students across the country.

Communication Disorders students led the charge at WKU to form an E-board for the Chapter and then complete the paperwork required for both the campus and national offices.  They have diligently (and quickly) come together to have initial organizational, informational and planning meetings for the Autism Speaks U at Western Kentucky University Chapter.  In a little over a month, 10 students (undergraduate & graduate from multiple disciplines) and 1 alum have planned and began initial work to secure funds and sponsors for their first event—Walk Now for Autism Speaks—that will occur on September 8th in Nashville, TN.

These students are highly motivated, cognizant of a need in our community for awareness and outreach, compassionate of individuals with autism and determined to make a difference. The core officers are:

Michael Kelly—President

Ashley Jordan—Vice-President

Krystine Ayres—Secretary

Julana Smith—Treasurer

These officers were instrumental in the formation of the Chapter.  The Chapter advisor is Janice Smith, an Instructor in the Communication Disorders department.  If you have any questions or would like more information, please feel free to contact Janice Smith

About Autism Speaks (from the website):

At Autism Speaks, our goal is to change the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright, grandparents of a child with autism. Since then, Autism Speaks has grown into North America’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, and treatments for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.

Learn More at www.autismspeaks.org or www.autismspeaks.org/U

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 Last Modified 9/24/14