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Our Story

The Autism on the Seas Foundation (AotSF) was born from the understanding of the tremendous financial impact that having a child with special needs has on families. Statistics show that caregivers of children and adults with special needs spend on average $20,000 more per year caring for their loved ones than families with typically developing members.  Based on the feedback we get from families that travel with us, we know the value and benefit that taking vacations has for these families, both individually and collectively. Unfortunately, due to the financial strains on many of these families, a vacation is not a realistic consideration and in some cases is financially impossible.

 

The main objective of AotSF is to provide financial assistance for families to vacation with Autism on the Seas. We intend to achieve that objective by both individual fundraising and attracting corporate financial backing in order to sponsor as many families as possible annually.

 

A word from our Founder

Mike

Michael Sobbell

Since the first Autism on the Seas cruise onboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Line in July of 2007, the families that have joined us have formed a natural bond we like to call the Autism on the Seas Community.  Together with the energy, effort and love form within this community, it was only a matter of time before we addressed the need to share the opportunity and the given right of all to have a vacation.  The Autism on the Seas Foundation was created in 2014, and we received our 501c3 in 2015.  We look forward in continuing to provide the services of Autism on the Seas, but now with the foundation we aim to have the ability to reach families that once could not afford what is often taken for granted, a true vacation.

 

A word from our Sponsorship Director

Randall Haskin

Randal Haskin

I am the father of a teenager with autism, Alex, who has turned into an enthusiastic vacationer and cruiser since first traveling with Autism on the Seas in 2010 and multiple times after.  I am currently a commercial airline pilot, where previously I spent over 20 years as an officer and fighter pilot in the United States Air Force.  I hold a Bachelors Degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice from the University of Washington and a Master of Business Administration from Touro University, graduating Summa Cum Laude. Together with my educational achievements, extensive leadership and program management experience from my military career, I am enthusiastic about working for and with families effected by Autism and other developmental disabilities.

 

Our Vision

Our vision is that all families with autism and other developmental disabilities have the opportunity to improve their overall quality of life by affording the travel opportunities with the support and accommodations necessary to assist with their loved one’s disability.