Last updated November 2023
What is this for?
The Autistic People of Color Fund provides direct financial support to autistic people of color through individual microgrants between $100 to $500. We support autistic youth and adults of color directly. We are NOT a family support fund and so we do not provide grants to non-autistic family members or caregivers.
Will the COVID-19 pandemic affect the Fund?
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, we have been committed to helping our community members with needs related to or affected by the pandemic. Many of our community members are struggling especially hard right now with sudden layoffs, extra childcare responsibilities, and loss of access to needed medications, mental health care, and health care.
Am I eligible?
- Any person who is autistic and a person of color (negatively racialized as non-white / Black, Asian, ethnic minority) is eligible to apply for funds.
- You are allowed to apply if you are autistic and have another disability.
- You are allowed to apply whether you have a professional diagnosis or not.
- If you were diagnosed with Kanner’s autism, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified, Asperger disorder, childhood disintegrative syndrome, nonverbal learning disorder, or Rhett’s syndrome, you count within the autistic community.
- You are a person of color if you are not white.
- Some examples: If you are Aboriginal, African or African diaspora, Black, Brown, East Asian, First Nations, Indigenous, Mestizx, Mixed-race or Multiracial, Mizrahi, Native, South Asian, or Southeast Asian, you count. (This is not an exhaustive list.) If you consider yourself white, Caucasian, or white-identified, you wouldn’t count.
- You can be any age to apply. There is no minimum or maximum age cutoff; however, we only award autistic people of color directly, so you must be old enough to understand what the Fund is for and to decide to apply for money from the Fund. A parent/sibling/caregiver of a very young child may not apply on their behalf.
- You can live in any country to apply as long as you may legally receive a payment by check in the mail.
- We do not require people who apply to show proof that they are autistic or people of color. Because of that, we consider applications on an honor system, although if we have specific reasons to believe that a person is white or non-autistic, we may ask you more questions. If we have reason to believe you might not be eligible, we may deny an application or request more information, such as a reference.
How does it work?
We ask for demographic information about yourself on your application, whether you have received other sources of financial support or expect to do so, and how important a microgrant would be to achieving your goal. We consider a person’s comparative need, access to resources, and other marginalized identities and experiences, in awarding microgrants.
We try to review general applications four times each year – in March, June, September, and December. We try to review emergency applications once each month. Sometimes we can review applications faster, but we can’t promise a specific time frame since the Fund’s team is 100% disabled people working part-time with other job, academic, and caregiving responsibilities. We often experience delays and have backlogs due to having a small, part-time staff.
Here are some of the things we might do when you apply:
- We might give you the exact amount you ask for.
- We might give you more than what you ask for.
- We might give you less than what you ask for.
- We can’t give anyone more than $500.
- We might decline your application now. You can apply again later if you are an autistic person of color.
We will always tell you what we decide.
If we choose to give you funds, we can send your money through a paper check or direct deposit. Direct deposit is only available for people in the United States. If you live outside the United States, you must be able to receive money via paper check.
We try our best to send money within 6 weeks of making a decision. Sometimes we can send money faster but we can’t always promise a quicker timeline.
What information will I have to provide to receive an award, if I am selected?
You will have to provide your legal/government name and your home or mailing address.
As of March 2022, we now require ALL approved grant recipients to provide identity verification.
You may prove your identity with either:
(1) a government-issued photo ID (current or expired less than 1 year ago)
(2) one official document that shows your legal name and your picture AND one official document that shows your legal name and address.
Here are examples of an acceptable government-issued photo ID:
- driver’s license
- state or national ID
Here are examples of acceptable official documents that show your picture and legal name:
- school ID (can have been within last 3 years)
- work ID (can have been within last 3 years)
- current disability transit pass or general transit pass (monthly subway/train card)
- current gym membership ID
- current Costco membership card with picture
Here are examples of acceptable official documents that show your address and legal name:
- utility bill
- signed lease
- voter registration card
- medical bill or health insurance info
- auto insurance card
- vehicle registration
What can I use money for?
You can apply for funds for almost any reason. You may not ask for funds for a criminalized or illegal purpose.
Your application must explain the reason you are requesting funds, and the amount (between $100 and $500) you are requesting.
We also ask you whether we can have your consent to share information about your grant publicly or privately if accepted, and if so, whether we have consent to share your name or initials, and any details about your need.
Some possible examples of requests include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Buying food and groceries
- Paying an overdue utilities bill
- Getting books for a semester of college
- Seeing a therapist
- Paying lab or language fees in college
- Getting food
- Paying an overdue medical bill
- Getting an athletic uniform or equipment
- Traveling to a job interview
- Getting art supplies
- Paying a security deposit on an apartment
- Covering the cost of a medication
- Buying a job interview outfit
- Covering a week’s stay in a motel while leaving an abuser
- Paying to travel to exhibit art or zines
- Getting food for a political advocacy event
- Having picket signs professionally printed for a demonstration
- Going on a weekend vacation
Unfortunately, we can’t fund everything.
- Because we are part of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, we can’t give you funds for political campaign or election activities. We can give you funds for advocacy that includes lobbying for issues, bills, or regulations. We can’t give you funds for advocacy for or against a candidate for office.
- We can’t give you funds to do things that will hurt other people.
- We can’t give you funds for therapies or treatments that are more harmful than helpful. For instance, we can’t give you funds for ABA (applied behavior analysis), since many autistic people who have survived ABA experienced it as intensely traumatic.
Where do I apply?
Please use the emergency application only if you are in a crisis right now, and you’re asking for funds to help with the crisis.
If you’re not in a crisis right now, please use the general application. Most people can finish this application in about 45 minutes. You will answer 24 total questions.
Please email us at [email protected] if…
- You prefer a document in Microsoft Word or PDF,
- You prefer a paper application,
- You prefer to submit a video, or
- You prefer to answer questions by phone.
If you send a video, please upload it to YouTube, Vimeo, or another video-sharing site, and email us the link to [email protected].
Can I apply for my child, my sibling, my partner, or someone I support?
As of 1 September 2020, no one is allowed to apply on behalf of anyone else.
An autistic person can ask for help to fill out an application. They must be able to understand what the Fund is and be able to decide to apply for money from the Fund.
A non-autistic parent, caregiver, or other relative cannot fill out an application on behalf of someone else, or based on having an autistic child.
Who’s behind this?
We are a group of autistic people of color with diverse backgrounds, identities, and experiences.
We’ve also received support in various ways from many other broader community members, and from many other people among AWN’s leadership, staff, and volunteers.
I don’t need funds/I’m not eligible, but I would like to help!
We accept donations to this fund — you can donate online or by mailing a check. Please make out the check to “Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network” and write “APOC” in the memo line. You can mail your check to Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network, 5100 Van Dorn Street, Suite 6633, Lincoln, Nebraska 68506.
We welcome donations as small as a couple dollars and as large as thousands. Your donations are tax-deductible as our fiscal sponsor, the Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network, is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Its federal tax identification number is 27-5133111. If you are a grantmaking foundation, philanthropic organization, or other financial entity that requires a W9 to process a donation or bequest, you may email [email protected] to request one.
If you are part of a corporate donation-matching program, a grant-making foundation, or other group that is interested in making a larger gift to the fund, please reach out to us at [email protected] to let us know how you would like to help.
Thank you for your support!