ADDRESS: 350 Braden Ave., Sarasota, FL 34243 PHONE: (941) 355-7637 FAX: (941) 358-3069 Office Hours: 7:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Easterseals Receives Barancik Foundation Grant

Agency Will Establish Easterseals Autism Center of Excellence

Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation has awarded Easterseals Southwest Florida a three-year grant to fund the Easterseals Autism Center for Excellence (ACE), a diagnostic clinic and community referral service for those living on the spectrum as well as with other developmental disabilities. The ACE center will be housed on the agency’s Braden Avenue campus when it officially opens this Fall.

“Early diagnosis, assessments and accessible therapies are the key to children getting the best chances to successfully develop,” Easterseals President and CEO Tom Waters said. “This funding will create additional support staff here – including another staff psychologist for diagnoses – to provide families in Southwest Florida important first steps as well as guidance for all the important next steps.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 54 children are diagnosed with autism in the US, while one in six children have a developmental disability. These rates grow each year, increasing the need for early and meaningful intervention. Even after securing a diagnosis, families often struggle with where to turn next. ACE case managers will help alleviate some of this confusion and stress with recommendations about services available in our region.

Programs and services provided there will include:

  • Expanded diagnostic and assessment services for autism,
  • Autism-focused therapies,
  • Case management for Easterseals’ clients,
  • Family-support services, and
  • Referral services to local services serving similar missions.

According to Barancik Foundation website, recent funding strengthens organizational capacity to support emerging needs in the community and provides more equitable access to healthcare and arts experiences.


Easterseals Southwest Florida provides exceptional therapies and services for individuals with disabilities and their families by empowering them to fully participate in life. The agency began serving the Southwest Florida region in 1946 and fosters environments where everyone is included and valued, regardless of age or ability.


Charles and Margery Barancik family has long believed in the power of philanthropy to shape our world and enrich the lives of all people. It was the expression of this belief that led them in 2014 to establish Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation — a private, family foundation located in Sarasota, Florida. Barancik Foundation creates initiatives and awards grants in Sarasota and beyond in the areas of education, humanitarian causes, arts and culture, the environment, and medical (research/resources).