The mission of Arizona Autism United is to help as many families as possible with individualized supports. Our vision is to be a model of excellence for autism organizations by providing comprehensive services across the lifespan, with facilities throughout the state of Arizona.
Arizona Autism United was founded in 2006 by current CEO Dr. Aaron Blocher-Rubin and a group of local families who were experiencing firsthand a shortage of quality care. Their concept was to develop a nonprofit organization whose sole focus was providing high quality direct services and supports to children and families in our community, so that anyone in need could get help.
What has made AZA United unique from the beginning is the organization's focus on involving the families we serve in the process of building and improving the organization. Arizona Autism United has grown from a staff of 1 to 500, serving hundreds of children every day throughout the valley with a wide variety of therapies and supports. Parents continue to lead the way as board members, committee leaders and volunteers. We believe that involving families at all levels is the key to improving service delivery systems and child outcomes, both now and for the future. Together, we are helping today and building tomorrow.
Our goal is to help anyone affected by autism access individualized supports without barriers, to achieve a high quality of life. In the long-term we hope to become a statewide organization serving the lifespan of people with autism, able to respond quickly and effectively to anyone in need. Our parents help us grow by identifying community needs and working with us to develop innovative and compassionate solutions. We believe that every family and person with autism has their own definition of success, and our job is to help them get there.
We are committed to these 4 values to achieve our mission and vision:
Grow with Purpose
Too many companies get too big, too fast. We never want to lose sight of our mission, or get too distracted with financial opportunities to remember why we’re here in the first place. We believe in making thoughtful decisions that are consistent with everything else we are trying to accomplish on behalf of our families and teammates. Not only should the organization grow with purpose, but also each child, family and staff member who have their own individual goals and aspirations. For families, we believe in working in partnership to develop individualized solutions and strategies that allow for growth that is meaningful to that family and aligns with their values. For employees, we prioritize work/life balance, continuing education, competitive compensation, and excellent benefits for everyone. Our goal is to make sure everyone is supported and valued to achieve their personal goals and contribute to the bigger picture goals we all share.
We are living in the information age, and it is perhaps more difficult than ever to keep up with the constant stream of knowledge that is available at our fingertips. At the same time, we have more opportunity than ever to disseminate information, collect feedback, and communicate with the people who are most invested in our mission. We live this value by assessing what we need to know before making any major decision, collecting input and feedback from anyone that is affected, communicating changes and opportunities frequently and openly, and being honest when we don’t know things and need to learn. We want families to always understand all of their options and available resources, so that together we can make highly informed decisions in the best interest of each child. For employees, we invest heavily in training, support, and professional development so that they can stay informed and be as successful as possible in their chosen career path.
Be of Service
As a mission-based nonprofit organization, it is inherent in our organizational DNA that we be of service. Unlike for-profit companies which by definition exist to generate profit, charitable nonprofits exist to make the world better by serving the underserved and helping those in need. The key for us is to apply this value beyond the families that we help every day. We have a responsibility to be of service to each one of our employees, to help them with whatever they need to be successful with their work and professional passions. This happens by being responsive to feedback, creating user-friendly systems and sensible policies, and making time to give each teammate individual attention and support.
Bring People Together
We are a community organization. That means that we not only serve a community, but we build community. We are more than just a service provider agency. We are a hub of community support, learning, and livelihood. This value involves connecting families with each other, giving kids the opportunity to make new friends, engaging our donors and supporters in building a shared vision of the future, and celebrating our successes together with the most important part of the organization – our teammates.