Accomplishments & History
Accomplishments – 2012
Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) provides real help now for children with autism and their families. We educate, empower, support and connect families with the resources they need to secure the best possible future for their children.
1. Membership grew to over 31,000 families, nearly 3,000 in one year. An average of 400 new families join each month.
2. Our programs were available to the entire U.S., maintaining a presence in 18 states.
PROGRAMS & SERVICES
All programs and services are provided at little or no cost to families. To ensure access for all families, we provided scholarships for any fee based programs we offer. Read more about our programs and services.
3. Parent support team & volunteers responded to almost 16,000 requests – in English and Spanish – via phone, email and live chat. This is a new record for TACA: 60% increase from 2011. Over 5,000 requests for support were responded to by TACA volunteers.
4. Our TACA Mentors made over 500 mentor-mentee connections reaching out to support thousands of families needing assistance on their autism journey. The number of connections this year was another record setting accomplishment for TACA. Thirty-two mentor training events took place and assistance via mentors is also provided in 7 languages.
5. Families benefitted greatly from the support, hard work and caring of over 500 volunteers in our chapters, mentor program and parent support programs.
7. Distributed over 3,000 free Autism Journey Guides (in it’s 6th revision) and over 150,000 “My Child has Autism” information cards to families. TACA introduced our guides for families as a two volume series: Early Childhood Development – Volume 1 and the newly created Volume 2 for Maturing Adults.
8. Hosted a variety of family events where almost 10,000 parents and children gathered in 25 different autism friendly environments.
9. Continued to provide critical parent education and support programs for families.
A) Our Spanish Community Outreach program presented and participated in nearly 10 local educational conferences catering to individuals with disabilities in the Latino community. This program responded to over 373 calls, 517 emails, and supported close to 345 parents at Spanish Coffee Talk meetings in Los Angeles, Orange County, and Las Vegas, NV.
B) Our Legal Advocacy program (Orange County only) responded to 737 requests for legal consultation and advice by way of phone call, electronic communication and in-person meetings. The program provided one-on-one support to families about navigating the IEP process; delivered pertinent legal information to nearly 130 participants through legal education seminars; reviewed and evaluated 20 IEP’s and consulted with parents on potential compliance issues empowering parents to advocate on behalf of their child.
10. We provided 50 families with scholarships toward treatment through our Family Scholarship Program, Hawaii Autism Foundation (HAF) Scholarships, HAF Vision Therapy Scholarships, TACA Dr. Rossignol Scholarships and TACA Philadelphia Liberty Me Grants.
11. More than 200 copies of books and DVDs were added to TACA Chapter Libraries.
12. Our organization participated and is a current member of the Global Autism Collaboration, a collection of organizations dedicated to parent-driven research and other united efforts.
13. Through our partnership in AutismCares, TACA and four other national non-profit organizations provided financial assistance to 280 families in crisis.
14. We were present at 6 national conferences where TACA Mentors provided individualized support to over 5,000 attendees.
15. Due to collaborative efforts with the Beautiful Son Foundation/Autism Hawaii Foundation and Liberty Me Foundation families received dedicated assistance in Hawaii and Pennsylvania.
16. The TACA Physician Advisory Group featuring Dr. Bob Sears, Dr. Dan Rossignol, Dr. Elizabeth Mumper, Dr. Cindy Schneider, Dr. David Berger and Dr. Richard Frye continued to help review new medical information and research in an effort to educate physicians about the treatments available for autism.
17. We participated in an iPad Autism & Communication study, created a project video and a parent tool kit for families, so they could learn more about the benefits in using this type of device for individuals with autism. For more info: https://www.tacanow.org/miscellaneous/ipads-and-autism/
18. TACA partnered with Autism Live to create WHAT’S LEFT? an allergy free cooking class series and parent education effort.
19. We now collaborate with My Autism Team for their provider directory.
FUNDRAISING & EVENTS
20. Oakley’s Special Edition TACA Autism Sunglasses Oakley’s Special Edition TACA Autism Sunglasses launched in April 2010. Since created, Oakley has sold over 16,000 pairs of glasses to support the TACA mission and raise autism awareness. This year, Oakley created more awareness by featuring TACA in their ONE ICON Magazine with an in-depth article and video of TACA’s efforts families we serve. For more info http://www.tacanow.org/miscellaneous/oakley-one-icon/.
21. TACA’s Ambassador Committee (comprised of 10 members) raised almost $70,000 and awareness for the organization.
22. Continued our partnership with 93.1 Jack FM for Jack’s Seventh Show, a concert benefitting TACA. This seven-year relationship has raised a cumulative total of over $260,000.
23. We held three family picnics: in California, Georgia and Maryland where we raised $80,000. Over 2,100 people attended and 200 scholarships were granted for families to able to attend.
24. TACA’s 6th Annual Ante Up For Autism held in Orange County, CA raised over $260,000.
25. We received in-kind donations of products and services to help offset expenses with an estimated value totaling almost $200,000.
26. We welcomed Elizabeth McCoy to our Board of Directors.
27. For the 9th year, TACA held Real Help Now Conferences in Nevada & Georgia serving over 300 families.
28. TACA held its 6th Annual Leadership Conference in January for 65 Chapter Coordinators and Key Volunteers from 20 states. Attendees received in-depth training on TACA’s Mission delivery, Programs, Services, and Chapter Operations. Through these volunteer efforts, leaders in their communities were able to reach 30% more families in 2012.
29. Almost 20 national and local media articles featured information about our organization and Chapters, highlighting TACA’s relevance in autism related issues. For more info: http://www.tacanow.org/category/news/
30. TACA Founder Lisa Ackerman was featured as the OC Metro CEO Centerfold and OC Family Magazine as an Orange County Supermom. For more info: http://www.tacanow.org/category/news/
31. Our website, www.tacanow.org, received almost 1,000,000 visits by users who accessed over 1.6 million pages of information. Ten new articles and major updates were added to our website.
32. The TACAnow blog had a record 83 posts and over 130,000 readers (Including 20 guests posts from our Physician Advisory Board and our own staff attorney).
34. TACA member list received more than 300 e-newsletters from TACA’s national office and chapters with a circulation of more than 31,000.
AUTISM AWARENESS EFFORTS INCLUDED
35. TACA’s 8th Family & Friends Campaign produced over 100 personalized family stories and raised almost $120,000.
36. Our year end celebration campaign was launched to collect family stories about children living with autism and their improvements. In just two days, we received over 200 inspirational stories about individuals with autism making great strides. For more info: http://www.flickr.com/photos/talkaboutcuringautism/sets/72157632301247683/
37. The Autism Youth Ambassadors Program expanded from 22 to 30 high school campuses.
- TACA 2011 Accomplishments
- TACA 2010 Accomplishments
- TACA 2009 Accomplishments
- TACA 2008 Accomplishments
- TACA 2007 Accomplishments
- TACA 2006 Accomplishments
- TACA 2005 Accomplishments
- TACA 2000-2005 Accomplishments
TACA began in November 2000 in the Ackerman’s living room in Huntington Beach, California with 10 families. As of December 2010, TACA serves approximately 20,000 families across the United States.
- November – First TACA meeting held in the Ackerman living room with 10 families
- November – TACA establishes Chapters in San Fernando Valley, CA & San Diego, CA
- TACA sends out its first e-news letter and launches www.TACAnow.org
- TACA’s Costa Mesa (Orange County) Chapter moves to larger location due to the increasing number of parents attending meetings
- The first version of the Parent Binder is available; it later becomes the Autism Journey Guide
- TACA establishes two California Chapters in the Inland Empire and South Bay
- 200,000 of TACA’s “My Child Has Autism” cards are distributed for the first time
- Coffee Talk is held at the Costa Mesa Chapter for the first time
- Lisa Ackerman becomes full-time, volunteer TACA Executive Director
- TACA establishes the Visalia and Santa Rosa Chapters
- Grandma Sharon & Julie Ward present at the first Recovered Kids Meeting
- First TACA Picnic is held at Camp James in Irvine, CA
- TACA’s 1st Family & Friends Campaign raises $30,000
- TACA establishes the 1st Adopt-A-Family Holiday Program
- TACA’s first printed newsletter is distributed
- Autism Journey Guide & DVD released
- TACA & Jack FM team up for Jack’s FIRST Show concert
- First TACA Leadership Conference held
- TACA establishes the Los Angeles Chapter
- 1st Ante Up for Autism raises $370,000
- 2nd Annual Leadership Conference with 60 in attendance
- TACA goes nationwide: new chapters in California, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin
- TACA’s Live Chat launched at TACAnow.org
- 3rd Annual Leadership Conference with 70 in attendance from 20 states
- TACA receives a $300,000 grant from Pacific Life Foundation to begin three new programs for families
- TACA adds new chapters in Arizona, Alabama, California, Indiana, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Tennessee
- Oakley – TACA sunglasses become available
- 4th Annual Leadership Conference with 60 in attendance from 22 states