Autism Spectrum Disorder: Assessing Needs for Information and Training across Stakeholders and Settings

Location: Online Survey
Start Date: January 2nd, 2014
End Date: December 31st, 2021

Consistent expectations and teaching across caregivers, professionals, and community members within different environments or settings (e.g., school, home, work place, community areas, medical offices) are fundamental for success of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (Scheuermann, Webber, Boutot, & Goodwin, 2003). However, prior knowledge possessed by caregivers and professionals about ASD and strategies that can support individuals with an ASD may differ significantly. Moreover, both the ability to undergo training and the type of training that can be taken may vary for potential learners based on their location, role, responsibilities and access to materials, resources, technology, and allocation of time for training. To assess the existing need(s) for information and to better understand how and from what kind of training the end user (e.g., parent/caregiver, educational or medical professionals, therapist, and students) may benefit, a comprehensive needs assessment has been developed and used. The HANDS in Autism® Needs Assessment Survey will be available online via REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture; Harris et al., 2009) software. The data collected will be analyzed to inform researchers regarding the existing needs in the aforementioned areas and will further target future material, outreach and training development.

To help increase the number of responses, from now until June 21, HANDS in Autism® is offering an incentive to groups who facilitate the completion of 15 or more needs assessment surveys.

What kind of incentive?
We know you are busy! We appreciate your time, effort, input and perspective in contributing to the survey! That is why we would like to offer options for participation and reward:

Facilitate the completion of 15 or more needs assessments (English or Spanish) by June 21 and HANDS in Autism will:
•Provide your agency or organization with a free online professional development opportunity on one of a variety of ASD-related topics; OR •Share a customized summary based on the data collected that would be of most interest or support to your business objectives.

Facilitate completion of less than 15 needs assessments by June 21 and your agency’s name will be placed in a drawing for an online professional development opportunity for your agency or organization on one of a variety of ASD-related topics.

How do I participate? If you are interested in participating in this opportunity and acquiring training or information for your agency, here’s the steps you or your organization can take:
•Go online to complete the Needs Assessment Recruitment Participation Survey to signify your agency’s desire to participate and what reward you are working towards.
•Implement your plan for increasing the number of Needs assessments in your community, using the following tools: Needs Assessment Info Flyer, Online link to the Needs Assessment in Spanish and English, Additional information about the Needs Assessment on our Research Page You can receive a printable version or alternate form of the survey by contacting us at
•Track the number of surveys you facilitate to completion.
•Report your results on our Needs Assessment Reporting Survey.

What if I need assistance with providing the survey to an individual with special communication or other accommodation needs? For alternative ways to complete the survey, the HANDS in Autism® team or project coordinators can assist! Request accommodations online or contact us at

Some restrictions do apply to this promotion, including the following: •The rewards are not transferable and must be claimed/used within the same calendar year (2020) •Training opportunities will not pertain to our intensive, multi-day trainings, setting-based consultations, and/or live events. •Individuals taking the assessments must be 18 years of age or older.

Eligibility Criteria
The survey will be available online for parents/caregivers, educational and medical professionals, justice and public safety personnel, therapists, community members, students, and other individuals who work with or support individuals with ASD within the state of Indiana and beyond. In addition, the 10-15 minute online survey will be accessible to individuals with ASD or related disabilities.

Contact Information
For more information about this study, contact Drs. Naomi Swiezy and/or Tiffany Neal, coordinators of this project, at or call 317-274-2675.