While Ted Lindsay made an incredible impact on the ice during his days with the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League, his work with the Ted Lindsay Foundation and efforts to combat the challenges related to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) will now leave a lasting legacy at Oakland University.
His foundation has just announced a pledge of $1 million to the Oakland University Center for Autism Outreach Services (OUCARES) to aid in teenage and adult autism programming in the community. As part of the gift agreement, OUCARES will change its name to the Joanne and Ted Lindsay Foundation Autism Outreach Services at Oakland University.
"This gift by Mr. Lindsay and his foundation is a game-changer for OUCARES and our ability to provide outreach programming to our teenage and adult populations," said Kristin Rohrbeck, Director of OUCARES. "The generosity of this commitment will allow us to dramatically change the quality of life of so many families impacted by autism in our region."
OUCARES plans to use the gift to offer pre-employment training, and develop social programs for teens and adults impacted by ASD, such as clubs like the Teen Social Club, Women on the Spectrum Connect, Social Connections for Adults and After Hours Adult Social. With the help of the Ted Lindsay Foundation, OUCARES will also enhance programming for parents and caregivers of people with autism.
In addition, the Ted Lindsay Foundation support will enhance OUCARES' ability to expand programming of Life Skills Camps, Pre-Employment Skills Training for Adults with ASD, bring prominent ASD speakers to campus and more. Finally, it will provide much needed scholarship funding, making the programs available to more people who might not otherwise be able to participate.
"I hope that our support will not only help individuals with autism to be more active socially in OUCARES programs, but that it will have a positive impact on the entire family of the person who is involved at OUCARES," said Lindsay. "We know that autism doesn't only impact individuals, it impacts parents, caregivers, siblings and many others who support the person with autism."
Since 2001, the Ted Lindsay Foundation has funded academic research and the continued work of autism programs at locations around the state of Michigan and the country. The CDC now estimates that at least one in 59 children are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, a number that continues to grow at an alarming rate.
The Lindsay Foundation partnership was also appreciated by OU President Ora Pescovitz. "Because OUCARES operates as a nonprofit and is funded partly through donations, the power of this commitment, one of our single largest pledges to date for OUCARES, cannot be overstated. We are grateful to Mr. Lindsay and are committed to being good stewards of the trust he has put in us."
About the Ted Lindsay Foundation
The Ted Lindsay Foundation was established in 2001 by Ted Lindsay and John Czarnecki, the father of a nine-year-old boy with autism. Since its inception, the Ted Lindsay Foundation has raised over $4 million, with only 13 percent allocated toward operating expenses. This means that $3.4 million - or 87 percent - has been used to support autism research and educational programs. In fact, this is the foundation's second gift in excess of $1 million in less than two years following the creation of the Ted Lindsay Foundation HOPE Center at Beaumont Children's Hospital in 2016.
The Ted Lindsay Foundation's mission is to elevate public awareness regarding the need for increased funding and support for individuals with autism. The foundation raises money throughout the year by holding several much-anticipated events, including a celebrity golf outing and wine tasting. It then dispenses funds to new and existing research projects that focus on the cause and treatment of autism. It also provides funding for training programs, educational programs and social services for people with autism and their families.
Learn more by visiting the Ted Lindsay Foundation website.
About the Joanne & Ted Lindsay Foundation Autism Outreach Services (OUCARES):
Oakland University began offering an autism endorsement certificate for teachers and other professionals more than three decades ago. Today, the program has grown and evolved into the Oakland University Center for Autism. OUCARES, the outreach services of the Center for Autism, offers practicum training and internship placements for 10-25 OU students annually and is currently working with faculty in the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, the Psychology department and the Center for Autism to support faculty research.
OUCARES serves more than 2,300 individuals impacted by ASD annually through different recreational programs, camps, and events. Of all the teens and adults in OUCARES outreach services, 12 percent participate in employment skills trainings, 28 percent participate in social skill building programs/events, 55 percent participate in recreational sports, and five percent attend summer camps. More than 400 volunteers work with OUCARES each year and over 80 percent of the volunteers are Oakland University students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Learn more by visiting the Joanne & Ted Lindsay Foundation Autism Outreach Services (OUCARES) website.