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ADVC Vaccine Education Initiative

The Autism Society of America believes that improving the vaccination experience is a critical step towards achieving more equitable healthcare for people with Autism and all neurodiverse individuals. As part of our strategic focus on health equity, the Vaccine Education Initiative (VEI) is a national program that addresses systemic barriers, while promoting vaccine education, confidence, and access.

Our Purpose

Foster connections through community partnerships

Transform the vaccine experience

Build trust, confidence, capacity, and inclusion


Recognizing and respecting differences and offering accommodations is a first step on our way towards true acceptance and inclusion.

At the Autism Society, we believe inclusion is the foundation for improving outcomes in the global Autism community – and it is the foundation of our Accessible Vaccination model.

Goal: To increase access and uptake of COVID-19 and flu vaccinations in local communities throughout MI

Program Goals

Through the VEI program, the Autism Society works with its nationwide affiliate network and healthcare partners to achieve national reach with local impact. Our goals include:

Increase Vaccine Confidence

Create community connections that promote trusted messengers, support informed decision-making, and self-advocacy.

Educate Healthcare Providers

Empower healthcare providers with the knowledge, understanding, and resources they need to meet diverse communication, sensory, social, and cognitive needs through a universal design framework.

Promote Community Vaccine Education

Deliver vaccine facts and evidence-based information to the disability communities and our affiliates. Develop accessible formats of vaccination information, including plain language, visual supports, and other languages spoken in communities.

Increase Vaccination Accessibility

Create accessible vaccination procedures and environments through compassionate care, accessible physical environments, accessible
communication, scheduling, sensory tools, and strategies to mitigate anxiety.

While focusing on vaccination, — a critical priority in healthcare — we have the opportunity to create systemic change to increase health equity. The Autism Society is committed to providing the resources and connections that improve outcomes for patients, providers, caregivers, and their communities.
Breaking Down Barriers
Address the health equity challenges faced by people with Autism across their lifetime — specifically around accessible, inclusive healthcare.
Educating and Vaccinating
Ensure anyone in the Autism community has access to information, resources, support systems, and specialists — especially to expand access to vaccinations and overall health.
Training Healthcare Providers
Bridge the gap — so that healthcare providers are equipped with training and resources needed to address the unique healthcare needs of the Autism and disability community.
Creating Access
Ensure that all individuals and families who want a vaccination are able to receive vaccination in safe and supportive environments.
By rewriting the vaccine experience, we are creating a path for increased vaccination rates for Autistic individuals and those with disabilities and complex support needs.

Worried that its impossible to subdue your child if someone approached them with a needle?

Needle phobia and a fear of doctors and hospitals among the special needs community is largely overlooked.

A majority of parents of severely autistic children say they will not take their child for the vaccine because they fear he or she might flip out, panic, attempt to run away or get aggressive once approached with a needle.

Our elderly population often experience similar feelings and stresses.

Our VEI clinic model transforms the experience with a sensory friendly environment & adaptive supports to help individuals with disabilities as well as the elderly population.

Past Clinic Feedback

“Helping my daughter have a positive vaccination experience to help her move past her fears, and seeing her so well respected by the volunteers/staff.”

“The different tools used to distract my son and make him comfortable and relaxed as possible.  Also that nobody held him down.”

Contact our ADVC Staff to learn how to:

* Receive Education & Training
* Schedule a Lunch & Learn
* Plan a VEI Clinic

Email: HzielinskiASGD@gmail.com

Health Professionals!

Schedule a Lunch & Learn

We will share what we have learned through our Vaccine Education Initiative and the incredible impact that we can have within the Autism and disability community when we work together. 

We can also teach you how to use the VEI Clinic model and help you provide a clinic to your local community as well.

The Autism Society of America and our partners have developed fact-based resources to support the Autism community and healthcare providers in achieving more equitable care. Access our free resources below:




© Autism Society of Greater Detroit

Autism Society of Greater Detroit is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit charity and our tax ID is 88-1145107