History & Awards
COSAC, originally named The Council of Organizations and Schools for the Emotionally Disturbed (COSED), was founded in 1965 by a group of concerned parents and professionals. In 1974, members decided to focus specifically on autism, and the name was changed to The New Jersey Center for Outreach and Services for the Autism Community, Inc., or COSAC.
At that time, no laws existed to ensure that children with disabilities would receive a free and appropriate education or to protect them from discrimination. In response, COSAC made an impact by distributing accurate information about autism, influencing legislation, keeping informed about current treatments, and eventually establishing programs that provided the education their children needed.
The organization eventually grew from a small group that met in its members’ homes to a well-respected, fully-staffed office of professionals. COSAC continues to improve and expand its services to New Jersey’s autism community which now include parent and professional training programs, a toll-free Information and Referral Line, parent support groups, advocacy assistance, public awareness initiatives, legislative programs and more.
The 2002-2003 New Jersey Kiwanis Charity of the Year
The 1999-2000 New Jersey Association of Student Councils (NJASC) Charity of the Year
The Family Support Center of New Jersey’s 1998 Provider Agency of the Year Award
The Autism Society of America’s 1997 Wendy F. Miller Autism Program of the Year Award
The Stephen and Mary Birch Foundation, Inc.’s 1997 Excellence in Service & Commitment to the Community Award
The Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s 1992 Distinguished Service Award
The New Jersey Developmental Disabilities Council’s 1989 Media Arts Award