For Immediate Release

Easterseals Arkansas Waves the Green Flag in Race of Autism Awareness

January 7, 2022

Media Contact:
Jillian Jacuzzi

Citing the rising need in Arkansas for both information and services for individuals on the autism spectrum, Easterseals Arkansas announced today their plans for the “2022 Race For Autism Awareness and Understanding” initiative.

In making the announcement, Easterseals President & CEO Ron Ekstrand also announced the organization’s plans to utilize writer, public speaker, and professional flagman for the NTT INDYCAR Series, Aaron Likens, as a key content creator, presenter, and public spokesperson for the initiative.

Ekstrand referenced the unique professional and personal relationship he shares with Likens.  “Aaron and I first met during my tenure at Easterseals Midwest, shortly after his successful publishing of Finding Kansas, a book in which Aaron shares his personal experiences and insights after being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a part of the autism spectrum.

“Immediately upon meeting Aaron, it was clear that Aaron was not only a writer, but a very impactful public speaker with the ability to connect with his audiences through his combination of personal experiences, humor, and humility. The insights that he brings are brought to life with great stories and examples that really resonate with people.”

Since beginning his public speaking activities with Ekstrand, Likens has gone on to be a highly respected presenter for an assortment of audiences, which include other Easterseals affiliates, local, state and federal organizations – including the FBI, health care providers, human resource officers, educators, parents, and more.      

In his role as Autism Ambassador for Easterseals Arkansas, Likens will produce weekly blogs and deliver presentations in the community. His daily blogging will take readers on a journey with him as he shares his day-to-day experiences as someone on the autism spectrum while he navigates the responsibilities, opportunities, and challenges that come with his flagging responsibilities on the NTT INDYCAR Series.

Easterseals Arkansas will also launch an outreach program that will work to make Likens available to speak to audiences, large and small, in the Little Rock area and across the state. 

Easterseals Arkansas Marketing & Public Relations Director Jillian Jacuzzi is excited about the programming opportunities for the organization. “With Aaron, we have the ability to work with individual public and private sector audiences to identify their specific areas of interest and set up to have Aaron present either virtually or in person,” she stated. “Whether it’s in the board room, classroom, luncheon podium, or conference facilities, Aaron will serve to inform and inspire the audiences.”  

Please reach out to Jacuzzi for further information or to book Likens for an engagement at  

About Easterseals Arkansas
For more than 75 years, Easterseals Arkansas has provided exceptional services to empower children and adults with disabilities to be full and equal participants of society. Easterseals Arkansas is leading the way to 100% equity, inclusion, access through life-changing disability and community services. Services include developmental preschools in Little Rock and Stuttgart; speech-language, physical, and occupational therapy; independent living programs; and transition programs to promote employment.

Powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software