The Autism Society of America foundation was founded by Dr. Bernard Rimland, the same doctor who founded the Autism Research Institute. The ASA was established in 1965 and was Dr. Rimland's first organization. The ASA foundation was originally comprised of parents but membership has spread to professionals and concerned citizens as well. The ASA foundation is dedicated to educating the public about autism and pervasive developmental disorders. It funds research projects and supports services for people in the community who are affected by autism. Each year, the Autism Society of America presents awards that recognize outstanding individuals within the autism community. The foundation also offers scholarships as well.