To improve the quality of life for individuals and families living with autism by providing information, resources, education, training, programs and activities in an autism-friendly environment throughout the Okanagan.
About Autism Okanagan Association (AOK)
In operation since 1998 under the name ABCD - Association for the Benefit of Children with Disabilities, the name and focus changed as of June 2014 when it became the Autism Okanagan Association (AOK).
Since June of 2014, board members and volunteers have worked to build a strong foundation for Autism Okanagan anchored by collaborative partnerships with several organizations including; Autism BC, Autism Community Training (ACT), The Canucks Autism Network (CAN), the Pacific Autism Family Foundation (PAFF) and Els for Autism Canada.
In its second year Autism Okanagan has again provided financial support to local initiatives including the Central Okanagan Special Hockey Program and the Kelowna Autism Awareness Walk. We were acknowledged as the "Charity of Choice" at the Armstrong Provincial Fall Fair Sept. 2-6, 2015, raising several thousands of dollars for AOK. Volunteers were provided for the BMO Marathon and the Rider Cider Ride for Autism in October 2015. The Rider Cider event ride raised over $50,000 for the Pacific Family Autism Centre that is earmarked for program development in Kelowna. In December we held our first Sensitive Santa Night in collaboration with Orchard Park Mall. January 2016 saw the start-up of our Young Ambassadors Program, a weekly social and learning group for young adults 18-25. In February we held A Weekend with Clifford Saron, an autism and mindfulness researcher from California who is also a parent of a young man with autism. In May, we partnered with a local company, Barefoot Venus to host Goddess on the Go, an evening of celebration and festivity for 85 moms living with autism.
Its been a busy two years but AOK is now well-established as a leader in autism support in the Okanagan valley. We are happy to announce that in November 2016 the Pacific Autism Family Centre will be opening their main "hub" in Richmond, BC as well as a "spoke" in Kelowna.