This Year's 5K is Going Virtual!
Register today and join us as we walk and run — socially distant but virtually together — to make a difference in the lives of over 2,500 children and adults with autism throughout New York City and Long Island!
Finding Strength in Our Founding
QSAC was founded only three years after the passage of the 1975 passage of landmark legislation focused on guaranteeing children with special needs access to a quality education. Founded in 1978, the parents who founded QSAC launched it 12 years before the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In 1978, our founders came together because they were unable to find services for their children with autism. They overcame unsurmountable odds and created something truly remarkable — Quality Services for the Autism Community (QSAC).
Today, we are not facing the same trials or challenges of the past, however, we do face a similar state of uncertainty as we look to the future. COVID-19 has had a significant impact on QSAC's programs for the autism community. While the pandemic shutdown significant portions of the economy, we continued to provide services throughout including our residential programs, which operate 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. Our dedicated direct support professionals (DSPs) traveled to work each day as essential workers. They were and continue to be a source of continuity for the nearly 200 adults with autism who live with us. Now, more than ever, we stand on the shoulders of the courageous parents who founded QSAC 42 years ago.
Continuing Our Work in the Face of Unprecedented Challenges
Throughout the pandemic, we have continued to operate nearly all of our programs and services for the autism community and their families, but we have also adapted to serve in other ways to meet the unique and changing needs of the people we serve. Facing food insecurity, we continue to work to ensure that our families have access to reliable sources of food through care package deliveries. We developed and continue to provide virtual workshops for people with autism as well as support groups and trainings for parents and siblings.
We are purchasing thousands of pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) on a regular basis to protect the people we serve and our staff. In our programs, we are making site modifications to ensure social distancing as well as hand washing machines, sanitizer stations, and countless other changes for which there is little to no government support.
As we face this unforeseen challenge, we remain steadfast in our commitment to the vision of our founders and inspired by the many challenges they overcame in the face of adversity. We acknowledge that the financial impact of the virus has had a significant impact on so many. If you are able, we invite you to consider registering for this virtual 5K in support of our programs during this time of unprecedented need.