Kaplan University Launches First Online Autism Speaks U Chapter to Raise Awareness and Funds for Autism Advocacy and Research

  Kaplan University Launches First Online Autism Speaks U Chapter to Raise
  Awareness and Funds for Autism Advocacy and Research

Business Wire

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- November 15, 2012

Kaplan University students have established the first-ever online chapter of
Autism Speaks U to support Autism Speaks, North America’s largest autism
science and advocacy organization. The Autism Speaks U Kaplan University
chapter includes members from all over the country who work together using a
unique e-board format to host virtual meetings and online events as well as
traditional tactics for raising awareness and funds to support the

According to Patti Pelletier, academic chair for the Kaplan University
Department of Educational Studies and one of the founding administrators for
Autism Speaks U Chapter Kaplan University Online, the interest among students
across the virtual campus has exceeded expectations. To date, the chapter has
assembled 115 members and raised almost $3,000 since its launch in September.

"The rapid success of this landmark online chapter of Autism Speaks U is a
testament to the passion our students hold for individuals impacted by autism
including their families," said Pelletier. “Kaplan University strives to
provide all of our students with experiences that prepare them for careers in
the fields they study—not just in the classroom, but in the real world.”

The Autism Speaks U Kaplan University chapter has continued efforts to support
those impacted by autism since the group was formed this fall. The e-board of
students, all from the College of Arts & Sciences, which is part of the newly
established Kaplan University College of Public Service, is planning
additional fundraising efforts, such as, bake sales and Walk Now for Autism on
some of Kaplan’s physical campus locations. According to Pelletier, the
chapter will also focus on increasing autism awareness through the creation of
a book club and special social media programming.

“We are thrilled to have Autism Speaks U Kaplan University establish the first
online collegiate chapter,” said Sarah Caminker, development manager for
Autism Speaks U. “We look forward to seeing their efforts grow and inspire
students and faculty across the country to raise awareness, compassion and
hope for the autism community.”

For more information about Autism Speak U Kaplan University Online, email
studentlife@kaplan.edu. Membership is open to any interested student from
Kaplan University.

Launched in 2008, Autism Speaks U, an initiative of Autism Speaks, is designed
to support college students, alumni and faculty in their awareness, advocacy
and fundraising efforts. Student-organized events can range from hosting a 5K
run, benefit concert, eating contest, panel on autism and more. While many of
the students involved with Autism Speaks U have a personal connection to
autism, others not directly affected have also joined the program to support
the cause.

Since its inaugural event at Penn State University in 2006, Autism Speaks U
events have raised over $1 million and student-organized Walk Now for Autism
Speaks teams have brought in millions more. Autism Speaks U events and
chapters exist at colleges and universities across the country including Penn
State University, University of California, Berkeley, Cornell University,
University of Michigan, Ohio State University, University of Connecticut, Duke
University, Northwestern University and the University of Massachusetts

College students, faculty and alumni can get involved with Autism Speaks U by
visiting AutismSpeaks.org/U.

About Kaplan University

Kaplan University offers a different school of thought for higher education.
It strives to help adult students unlock their talent by providing a
practical, student-centered education that prepares them for careers in some
of the fastest-growing industries. The University, which has its main campus
in Davenport, Iowa, and its headquarters in Chicago, is accredited by The
Higher Learning Commission (www.ncahlc.org) and is a member of the North
Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Kaplan University serves nearly
50,000 online and campus-based students. The University has 11 campuses in
Iowa, Nebraska, Maryland and Maine, and Kaplan University Learning Centers in

Kaplan University is one of Kaplan, Inc.’s higher education institutions,
which serve approximately 73,000 students online and through approximately 70
campus-based schools across the United States. Kaplan’s higher education
schools offer a spectrum of academic opportunities, from certificates and
diplomas to graduate and professional degrees, including ajuris doctor
degree. Kaplan, Inc. is a leading international provider of educational and
career services for individuals, schools and businesses. It is a subsidiary of
The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO), and its largest division. For more
information, visithttp://www.kaplanuniversity.edutoday.


Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that inhibits a person's ability
to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by
behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in 1 in 88
children in the United States, affecting four times as many boys as girls.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national
public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.


Autism Speaks is North America’s largest autism science and advocacy
organization. Since its inception in 2005, Autism Speaks has made enormous
strides, committing over $173 million to research and developing innovative
new resources for families. The organization is dedicated to funding research
into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing
awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of
individuals with autism and their families.In addition to funding research,
Autism Speaks also supports the Autism Treatment Network,Autism Genetic
Resource Exchange and several other scientific and clinical programs.Notable
awareness initiatives include the establishment of the annual United
Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2 and an award-winning
“Learn the Signs” campaign with the Ad Council which has received over $249
million in donated media.Autism Speaks family resources include the Autism
Video Glossary, a 100 Day Kit for newly-diagnosed families, a School Community
Tool Kit and a community grant program.Autism Speaks has played a critical
role in securing federal legislation to advance the government’s response to
autism, and has successfully advocated for insurance reform to cover
behavioral treatments.Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in
more than 80 cities across North America. To learn more about Autism Speaks,
please visit autismspeaks.org.


Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the
grandparents of a child with autism. Bob Wright is Senior Advisor at Lee
Equity Partners, Chairman and CEO of the Palm Beach Civic Association and
served as vice chairman, General Electric, and chief e- officer of NBC and NBC
Universal for more than twenty years.He also serves on the boards of the Polo
Ralph Lauren Corporation, RAND Corporation and the New York Presbyterian
Hospital. Suzanne Wright has an extensive history of active involvement in
community and philanthropic endeavors, mostly directed toward helping
children. She serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations and is
also Trustee Emeritus of Sarah Lawrence College, her alma mater. Suzanne has
received numerous awards such as the CHILD Magazine Children’s Champions
Award, Luella Bennack Volunteer Award, Spirit of Achievement award by the
Albert Einstein College of Medicine's National Women’s Division and the
Weizmann Institute of Science. In 2008, the Wrights were named to the Time 100
list of the most influential people in the world for their commitment to
global autism advocacy.


rbb Public Relations
Susan Gilden, 305-448-7536
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