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SunTrust Foundation Awards $556,000 Grant to Autism Speaks

Funding supports financial wellness for the autism and special needs communities

NEW YORK , April 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The SunTrust Foundation today announced a two-year grant of $556,000 to Autism Speaks, expanding upon its partnership to promote financial well-being among families impacted by autism and other disabilities.

Since 2016, the partnership has identified the enormous need of the autism and disability communities to access financial planning information. By the conclusion of 2018, the SunTrust Foundation provided support enabling Autism Speaks to:

  • Fulfill nearly 30,000 requests for information about financial resources through the Autism Response Team (ART).
  • Co-host 15 Financial Planning for Special Needs Workshops for more than 1,500 participants.
  • Distribute more than 5,000 Special Needs Financial Planning Tool Kits.
  • Garner nearly 4,000 workshop video views on the Autism Speaks YouTube page.
  • Create the Financial Planner app, which has been downloaded more than 3,500 times across 25 countries.

"Autism Speaks is helping to instill confidence in the lives of children, adults and families with special needs," said Stan Little , president of the SunTrust Foundation. "The organization continues to identify ways to ensure families have the resources they need to secure a financial future."

The partnership aims to reach people with autism and those who support them with sustained funding of two members of ART, allowing for continued year-over-year growth in the volume of inquiries fielded. Through ART, individuals with autism, families and professionals receive direct, personalized responses from trained specialists, connecting them to critical information, resources and support.

"SunTrust Foundation's generous grant helps us provide tools, information and resources that empower thousands of people with autism and their families to make informed decisions about their financial lives," said Angela Geiger , president and CEO of Autism Speaks. "We are grateful to SunTrust for its vision and ongoing commitment to the autism community."

About Autism
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. We now know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, and each person with autism can have unique strengths and challenges. A combination of genetic and environmental factors influence the development of autism, and autism often is accompanied by medical issues such as GI disorders, seizures and sleep disturbances. Autism affects an estimated 1 in 59 children.

About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. We do this through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. To find resources, join a fundraising walk or make a donation, go to www.AutismSpeaks.org .

About SunTrust Foundation
The SunTrust Foundation is committed to SunTrust Bank's ( STI ) purpose of Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being by engaging with local and national organizations to advance financial confidence. Grants and activities focus primarily on financial education, financial counseling, career readiness and small business/entrepreneurship, in addition to local community grants. The SunTrust Foundation supports American Red Cross disaster relief efforts and contributes as a United Way Global Corporate Leader. Established in 2008, the SunTrust Foundation has proudly provided grants totaling more than $160 million throughout the United States .

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