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The Rich Center for Autism was established in 1995 through the collaborative efforts of the Kosar, Rich (Ricchiuti), and Rubino families who have a shared interest in autism. In collaboration with Youngstown State University, The Rich Center for Autism is located on the campus and functions as a not-for-profit under the auspices of the Youngstown State University Foundation.

The Rich Center for Autism will serve as a lasting tribute to the memory of Paula and Anthony Rich and their unborn child whose lives were tragically ended in a plane crash outside of Pittsburgh on September 8,1994. It is the founders’ dream that from this terrible tragedy will spring hope for those affected by autism.

Realizing that autism is a major educational challenge for parents and teachers, the founders established The Rich Center’s goal: to improve the conditions with which children with autism learn to live. By combining current research about autism with the newest and most innovative theories in education, The Rich Center for Autism offers hope that children affected with autism can reach their full potential. Therefore, the primary emphasis is on teaching and research as well as focusing on the intensive training to children with autism.

The Rich Center for Autism, a component of the Beeghly College of Education, fulfills the mission to prepare educators, medical specialists, other professionals and para-professionals who serve individuals with autism in best practices for teaching and caring for these special people; to increase our knowledge base through the promotion of scholarly research in a living laboratory; to provide public service and advocacy on behalf of those affected by autism. These goals are accomplished through the Academic Program, the Research Program, and the Public Service Program, which includes Professional Development Program, Full School Year Program, Summer Program, and Outreach Consultation Program.

Like autism, The Rich Center has no geographic boundary and touches children of any socio-economic background and culture. Children are enrolled in our programs regardless of the ability to pay. Referral, treatment, and support are provided at no cost to families.

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