For far too long, individuals living on the Autism spectrum have been categorized, labeled and placed into diagnostic boxes. But life experiences are far more complex, and the Autism Society of Greater New Orleans embraces the infinite ways in which people live their lives. In service of those unique experiences, the Autism Society of Greater New Orleans has undergone a major rebranding effort.
The Autism Society Of Greater New Orleans is proud and excited to advance our mission to create connections, empowering everyone in the Autism community with the resources needed to live fully. Our vision is to create a world where everyone in the Autism community is connected to the support they need, when they need it. We do this while embodying our values of Dignity, Equity, Inclusion, Diversity, and Integrity.
Because the experience of Autism is not one thing. Because it is many
things. And because the connection between those experiences is you.
Because we see you. The way you think. The dreams you hold. The talents you bring. Because you can’t be categorized into neat little diagnostic boxes. Because you break the mold.
Because sometimes you’re quiet. Because sometimes you need help reaching for where you belong. Because sometimes what happens is not always right or fair or just. Because there are keys to every door that looks locked.
Because no matter how you were born, the person you are is infinite—and you are the only you there is.
Because Autism is just one part of who you are and the potential you hold.
The Autism Society, the connection is you.™
The Autism Society of Greater New Orleans aims to foster connections within the Autism community. Connections to resources, information, services, opportunities, and of course, to each other. Our brand reflects the experiences, needs, and diversity of the Autism community, including Autistic individuals, their families, friends, caregivers, and professionals in Autism-related fields. Whether you are a parent looking for a support group, or a self-advocate looking for ways to impact policy in your community, the Autism Society of Greater New Orleans knows that The Connection is You™.
From the beginning of the brand process, the Autism Society set out to create a space that was fully inclusive, accepting, and a diverse representation of all those we serve. To do this, the Autism Society of America partnered with Watson Creative to develop a brand that would serve the Autism community into the future.
Creating this new brand was intentionally developed with the Autism community. Over the course of a year, 150 individuals in the community participated in the brand development process; This includes Autistic self-advocates across the spectrum, parents, siblings and caregivers to Autistic individuals at all life stages, professionals and researchers in the field, and many leaders within the Autism Society’s affiliate network. The significant number of participants helped shape a brand from early research to final delivery of the look, feel, and tone you are experiencing today.
“In our conversations with members of the Autism community, the one thing that kept repeating was a sense of disconnection – disconnected to opportunities, to basic needs, it was universal,” Said Mr. Watson. “So, connection was the universal response to these disconnected experiences.”
Through interviews, focus groups, and participation from advisory councils, our new brand was developed as an inclusive space to all. In fact, every element of the brand was designed to create a beautiful, functional space so that those seeking resources could easily access information without visual, auditory or other sensory barriers.
The new brand includes an inclusive color system, “threads” that visually tie in our story of connection with line fluidity that helps create a calm, visual stimulation. In addition, our portrait photography authentically captures people within the Autism community, amplifying true representation in the brand’s visual components. The new logo weaves the colors and threads to create a visual that represents individuality and unique experiences that are simultaneously interconnected and woven into the greater Autism community.
Additionally, we are intentionally capitalizing Autism. The Autism Society believes the shift to a capital A is a broader representation of a culture, identity and diverse neurotype – as well as the disorder itself. It can improve understanding of the diverse needs and perspectives within the Autism community, leading to increased access, inclusion, and meaningful support for people with Autism and their loved ones in our society.
We know that the people who live in the Greater New Orleans area connect through celebrations, storytelling, and art. The variety of colors in the brand remind us of the beauty of our city and its people. New Orleans is a place of bold colors, loud celebrations, and joyful community, but often, individuals and families in the Autism community are left on the sidelines as the celebration goes past. We are dedicated to weaving ever more connections between the members of our community so everyone has access to the support they need, when they need it, and can join in celebrating their own lives, and the lives of their loved ones in a fully inclusive, equitable, and diverse community.
The accessibility of the new brand means those seeking information can easily connect with resources such as our national helpline, information from specialists, and a nationwide network of affiliates with local and regional connections that can help. Our affiliate, The Autism Society of Greater New Orleans, also offers hyper-local resources and support such as our information and referral program, our virtual social and support groups, our mini-grant program, and our inclusive community events. We also work to act quickly when we can to fulfill the emergent needs of our community such as when we distributed $10,000 in direct grants 48 hours after Hurricane Ida to assist families in the immediate aftermath of the disaster before any other financial assistance was available.
Beyond resources, the Autism Society is also a leader in advocacy for more inclusive policies and practices that benefit Autistic individuals. These efforts include advocating for equitable access to education and supports, employment, housing, health care, long-term support and services, and law enforcement and first-responder training.
Because representation in advocacy is so important, another benefit of the Autism Society’s new brand is that it centers Autistic individuals and their loved ones in visual storytelling – connecting people to policy. This helps amplify neurodivergent voices and members of the Autism community in advocating for nuanced and inclusive policies that can serve a diverse set of needs.
The Autism Society has relied on the same brand for over 20 years. We are grateful for the brand that served our community so well for so long. More than that, we are grateful to you for being a connection that serves our whole community. Now, it is time to embrace the future of inclusivity, acceptance and connection for the Autism community. That future is you, because the Connection is You™.
Curious about the brand? Check out our FAQs for more information!