The Els for Autism Foundation was established in 2009 by Ernie and Liezl Els to focus on the issue of autism.
The Els’ son Ben is profoundly impacted by the disorder, which affects 1 in 88 children in the U.S. For the last five years Ernie and Liezl have devoted their efforts to a catalytic philanthropic project – The Els Center of Excellence. This first-of-its-kind Center will focus on a digital e- learning platform that gives children on the spectrum around the world access to best practices in education and therapy. It will also help connect the international autism community with best practices and the very latest information and research.
The 26-acre facility will also have an on-site education for 300 students ages 3-21, medical and professional services, research, transition to adulthood, adult living and on-site job training. The Foundation has launched a capital campaign to raise $30 million to finance the facility; the Els’ have committed $6 million of their own money. Construction began on site in March 2014.
Els for Autism is committed to helping people on the autism spectrum fulfill their potential to lead positive, productive and rewarding lives. We aim to achieve this through:
- Understanding the causes of autism and facilitating the development and delivery of treatment therapies, educational programs, training programs, and sports programs as well as residential and independent living programs.
- The development of global outreach programs that will facilitate the sharing of best practices and programs with the global autism community and beyond.
- Raising awareness of autism and promoting the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Els for Autism envisions itself as being a game-changing resource in the field of autism, delivering and facilitating the delivery of programs that are leading examples of what should be available to people with autism spectrum disorders across the world. Through our commitment to learning and the sharing of best practice Els for Autism envisions being a driving force in helping people with Autism Spectrum Disorders around the world realize their potential and individual aspirations and become valued and productive members of welcoming communities.
Respectfulness (respectful of other points of view in autism, and to people on the spectrum)
Open to Learning
Committed to sharing
Commitment to Quality
Commitment to Excellence