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Pair Of Disability Groups Named To Worst Charities List


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A nonprofit that claims to help send kids with special needs to camp is one of two groups purporting to aid those with disabilities making a list of the nation’s 50 worst charities.

The American Foundation For Disabled Children came in at number 23 on a list of bad charities compiled by the Tampa Bay Times and the Center for Investigative Reporting. Another group claiming to help people who are deaf and blind live independently ranked 32.

For the analysis, the news organizations combed through public records, flagging nonprofits with questionable spending.

In the case of the American Foundation For Disabled Children, the investigation found that the New York-based group took in $16.4 million in the last decade, of which $13.4 million went to solicitors collecting donations on their behalf. Less than 1 percent of the funds donated went to children, according to the report.

Meanwhile, the news organizations found that the American Association of the Deaf & Blind stopped using professional fundraisers in 2010. But in the 10 years prior, the group took in $10.3 million of which less than $8,000 was spent to help the people at the heart of its mission.

Officials with both charities did not respond to inquiries from the reporters.

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Comments (16 Responses)

  1. MsAmericanPatriot says:

    Autism Speaks should be on that list.

  2. Whitney says:

    I agree with that sentiment. Most people don’t realize people with Autism are against Autism Speaks. It an organization that speaks everyone else but people with Autistics which they are supposedly promoting.

  3. Shiloh says:

    This is disgusting. How can people sleep at night being involved in these kind of “scams”.

  4. Julie says:

    Special place in hell for these people.

    As far as Autism Speaks – as long as the donations are going to the people they serve (may not be in the way you like but as long as it ends up assisting people within the autism community) – their politics have no bearing on this study.

  5. Whitney says:

    I disagree a person should have say in a group that suppose to helping them. Most of the money is going for research and cure not for people who are autistic to have better lives. It raising money on psychological research which is fine but not fine it is only thing it does. It would be better that some money can help the quality of life issues for autistic but we get nothing from the donations. Also people with autism also have no say in Autism Speaks,

    But some organizations like these are need greater scrutiny for the disabled. I wager people with disabilities will have no say in these organizations. Or even how the money spent for the targeted group nor is encourage speak their minds and this is what Autism Speaks guilty of as well.

    How can non-profit help a targeted group if they have no input in the organization? It can’t effectively and leads to corruption and fleecing of people who mean well.

  6. CW Leaver says:

    Julie, that’s the whole point about Autism Speaks! Their millions does NOT get to the people they claim to be there to assist. They have several million dollars a year which they spend on their own marketing (to raise more money for their salaries), and claim to give to “research” for a “prevention and cure” for autism, which is not a preventable or curable thing. It is a pervasive disability/brain difference, which is not a piece of a person that can be removed. How so many dumb sheep keep lining up thinking they are HELPING people with autism by walking and paying money to that bloated organization is beyond me. It is not “politics”, it is the truth. It would be really great if people did some research and educated themselves before whining that anyone who has a complaint about Autism Speaks is just getting “political” (which actually doesn’t even make sense in the context of your own complaint)….grow up.

  7. Tacitus says:

    Thank you so much Whitney. Anyone else familiar with the phrase “nothing about us without us”?

    If you don’t think the very people that your campaign targets need to direct the majority of the work your campaign does, then you aren’t serving your targets, you’re only serving yourself.

  8. Vivian D. Swibel, RN says:

    This is just another example of preying on the weak. It’s like thugs that beat up or rob older people. It is like those that prey on children. I’ve worked with people who have disabilities on and off most of my life. They are the most loving and trusting pople you will find. And they depend on us to help them through life. Do these organizations ever feel any type of shame!

  9. F. Dang says:

    When you leave food out the cockroaches come in.

  10. MsAmericanPatriot says:


    Yes I have heard of the phrase, “Nothing about us without us.”

    Plus I have heard Autism Speaks is in bed with big pharmaceuticals. Who wants a doped up kid or adult on their hands.

  11. RandyLynn Barron says:

    Having a degree as a developmental director I’ve seen many charities who spend much more money on staff, facilities and supplies than on clients. Look at the Jerry Lewis Telethon. Don’t you wonder why a cure hasn’t been found yet for Muscular Dystrophy in over fifty years when they state that they are “…dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy”.

  12. Whitney says:

    If anything there is group call ASAN it is not perfect but it run by people with Autism and that where we have direct input to what matters for us. In any case research the charities you want to support. Like going to Better Business Bureau or listen to people who are both for and against before you send money. Research any charity before donating.

  13. Anna the Flutist says:

    As an autistic person, Autism Speaks should be on that list. They do not have autistic leadership and do nothing to help us.

  14. Silent says:

    As the parent of a profoundly disabled eighteen year old, I am outraged to learn how low some greedy people will stoop. As if this weakest sector weren’t victimized enough in other ways.

    Word of such scams must be publicized in donor circles.

  15. Cindi says:

    RE: CW Leaver’s comment: ” . . . “autism, which is not a preventable or curable thing. It is a pervasive disability/brain difference, which is not a piece of a person that can be removed.

    Speaking as a mother of an adult son with autism, I disagree with CW Leaver’s comment (above); I am not familiar with the practices of Autism Speaks or, in fact, many of the organizations raising money to help individuals with autism. But, to say autism is not preventable or curable and is a pervasive disability/brain difference is inaccurate. Research is critical. Many of the interventions my son had from age one – 6 had major impact on his ability to speak, walk heel to toe, interact socially, connect genuinely with loved ones and learn self-help and vocational skills. Autism’s “brain disorder” is a secondary condition caused by a damaged gut system and weak immune system. There are more neurotransmitters in the gut than in the brain. Heal the gut; heal the brain. Individuals are not born with autism; they become autistic because of the two factors stated above. Most of us are born with healthy immune systems and regularly detox environmental, former Mercury-laden vaccines, and other assaults on our systems. Those born with compromised immune systems who cannot detox these assaults, build up this toxin in their systems and it does serious harm. When I was trying to heal my son from his autism, I attended DAN conferences; there was no Internet then; three of the best books I read and implemented for my son were: The Starving Brain (on the gut-brain connection); Let Me Hear Your Voice (from which I started ABA for my son), and The Yeast Connection (dedicated to Dr. Sidney Baker – in Connecticut where we traveled by train to visit and be treated.) There are always going to be scoundrels stealing from our cause, but we can never stop fighting for a cure, a treatment, an open door, an opportunity for every individual — regardless of his or her challenge.

  16. Patricia says:

    “But, to say autism is not preventable or curable and is a pervasive disability/brain difference is inaccurate” ….. Autism cannot be prevented, cured, identified on the human genome out of the 3.1 million DNA marker combinations. Autism Is Natural! Autism Spks is milking it for every penny, following the model used to milk Cancer for every penny. Cancer cannot be cured either because it is Natural. Dis-Ease is MAN-made. MODERATOR: you cannot Censor All of the People All of the Time :) ….. Who runs Disability Scoop, BTW? What ever happened to transparency? This Is About Disabilities, no??? I Am Disabled, and Proud! TY :D

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