Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM)
The Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) is an organization of families, educators, care givers, and professionals committed to supporting individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). It was established in 1971. AuSM has members throughout the state of Minnesota and the upper Midwest.
What it Autism?
Autism is a complex developmental disability that is present from birth or very early in development. It affects essential human behaviors such as social interaction, the ability to communicate ideas and feelings, imagination, self-regulation, and the ability to establish relationships with others. Although precise neurobiological mechanisms have not yet been established, it is clear that this disability reflects the operation of factors in the developing brain. Autism is estimated to occur in as many as 1 in 110 individuals (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). Autism is four to five times more prevalent in boys than in girls and knows no racial, ethnic, or social boundaries. Family income, life-style, and educational levels do not affect the chance of a child having autism. Autism is currently thought of as a â€œspectrum disorder.â€ This means that the severity of symptoms differs in people with ASD.
What new functionality we are looking for
We're looking for a website that will help in many areas; perhaps too many for this project. However, if we attempt to roll them all up into a few primary categories, we need a website that will:
1. Project a current and professional image
2. Help us alleviate some of our administrative burden/workload
3. Provide more value to our membership and the community
Our present website is dated, cumbersome, and limited, to put it politely. It's present look appeals specifically to children. It's new appearance will also welcome adults.
A new website will provide us a platform that will allow us to easily and quickly share (upload) current information, update a calendar, use a variety of media formats, provide downloads, and make it much easier to find exactly what our visitors seek. It will save us time and resources with registrations. It will raise us money via donations and a store. It will speak back to us with a database and information about our visitors.
We are a membership organization. Though our mission is to supply information to the entire community, and to be a resource for all who need our help, it would be wonderful if we could also provide additional value to our members. A members-only section could offer our loyal membership exclusive opportunities and access.
Simple and clean, our new website will be much more rich with information. It will have news, e-learning archives, perhaps online classes, a community forum, access to articles and research, and so much more...and it will be mobile-friendly!
How the new functionality will help
Every strong organization or company begins with a strong image. A strong image lets people know that we are professional, we are organized, we know our audience. It instills confidence and trust. Even if we are the best in our field, without the proper image, we will be (are) at a significant disadvantage.
Websites are the new business card - on steroids. They are typically the first impression to potential members, donors, or information seekers. If our website doesn't give them what they need quickly and cleanly, they will find another organization that can.
Our new website will serve as a resource for our individuals, families, educators, professionals, and the greater community. It will be a place where they can all visit and get critical information at any hour of the day, or in any location. It will help families new to autism find a confidant. It will allow us to better communicate. It will help us raise money - and save money. It will retian and add membership. All of these things will allow us to expand programs and create more materials.
This new website will help us stay open.
How our organization will use the technology
Who will use the technology
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