By Daniel Openden
President & CEO, SARRC
It’s been 22 years since SARRC first opened its doors to the public. At the time, we offered just a handful of programs and focused much of our efforts on autism research. Fast-forward to 2019, and we currently offer more than 30 evidence-based programs, dynamic outreach services and innovative research studies for children, teens, and adults. We’ve evolved into an entrepreneurial organization that focuses on best possible outcomes for individuals with autism and their families, and together with our supportive community, built Phoenix into ”the most autism-friendly city in the world.”
In 2018, we spent considerable time challenging ourselves to think big when we ask, “What’s Next?” and how we can best leverage our research, programs, and services now. In doing so, we’ve articulated a new vision for SARRC that answers a critical question: “What would the world look like if SARRC were to accomplish all of its goals? The answer? People with autism meaningfully integrated into inclusive communities.
We also completed our new strategic plan and set an audacious goal that accelerates realizing our vision: By 2030, SARRC will become a statewide organization that puts effective services within reach of every Arizonan. To achieve this goal, we’ve identified five “strategic anchors” that will help direct our efforts and resources:
- Expansion: Operate 10 SARRC satellite locations, each anchored by a Community School.
- Scale: Demonstrate scalability and outcomes for additional SARRC programs and deploy them through satellite locations.
- Reach: Broadly disseminate innovative applications that indirectly impact individuals with autism.
- Inclusion: Create inclusive, supportive and safe communities statewide through “civilian” impact.
- Culture: Make strategic investments in our culture to ensure SARRC is a great place to work.
Since 1997, SARRC has been developing and incubating what’s next for autism in Phoenix, and now is the time to expand the reach of our fundamental programs, services, and research; create sustainable programs that can be reinvested back into the growth of our mission; and cultivate and empower new supportive, inclusive communities, making Arizona the most autism-friendly state in the world. We are excited for and encouraged by SARRC’s future and look forward to you joining us on this critically important journey.
If you have questions on SARRC's expansion plans or how you can support our initiatives, we encourage you to contact our Chief Development Officer at 480.603.3292.