23. Community Outreach and Self-Advocacy, with Cassie Harden Scott and Russell Hornig-Rohan

Discover what’s possible when community outreach begins with empowerment. 

Our guests today are two members of our Global Autism Project family: Cassie Harden Scott and Russel Hornig-Rohan, or Rusty for short. 

Cassie and Rusty have been involved with the Global Autism Project for over 6 years. Both of them began as volunteers on SkillCorps trips to several of our partner sites – including Centro ACAP in the Dominican Republic, which you may remember from Episode 20. SkillCorps is an opportunity for self-advocates and professionals to visit autism centers around the world, working directly with their local teachers and therapists while providing sustainable training. If you’d like to know more about our SkillCorps volunteer program, please listen to episodes 4 and 17, featuring round table discussions with a few other members of our community. 

Over time, Cassie and Rusty each stepped into roles related to outreach and advocacy. Cassie is currently our Director of Outreach and works closely with our partners to help spread autism awareness and acceptance in their communities. Rusty is an autism self-advocate, as well as a polyglot whose impressive abilities have helped his teams cross language barriers while abroad. 

In today’s conversation, Cassie and Rusty share how they got involved with the organization and why they’re passionate about its mission. They also reminisce about trip highlights and recount fun stories from when they were working together at our office in Brooklyn, New York. 

We discuss some of the different outreach initiatives that can be carried out, from supporting parents and professionals to giving presentations at universities. Stay tuned until the end of the episode to hear about ways to engage in advocacy work from your own home. 

For more information about our work, please visit globalautismproject.org. 

Just a reminder that we are still taking donations for our COVID-19 Partner Relief Fund. 

Our partners across the globe share our vision of creating a world where every person with autism can reach their potential no matter where they live. They are dedicated to providing access to quality, culturally-appropriate education, and equal opportunities in their communities. 

As a result of COVID-19, our partners have shifted their work to support their students remotely, with many of them volunteering their time, and they will continue to do so as long as they can. 

100% of your donations to the Partner Relief Fund will go directly to our partners who need it most. You will be supporting internet access for remote teaching, educational materials, and tuition scholarships. As our partners adapt and innovate to meet the urgent challenges presented by COVID-19, we’re inviting you to join us and help create a better future for these children at risk. 

Today we are excited to announce that Early Autism Services will be matching the next $10,000 in donations to the Partner Relief Fund. That means that the next $10,000 in donations will be matched dollar for dollar by Early Autism Services. 

If you’ve been waiting for the right time to donate to the Partner Relief Fund, the time is now. Make your donation count by doubling your impact with the support of Early Autism Services. You can make a donation directly on our website at globalautismproject.org

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