CA works to build capacity across communities so all Virginian’s can be securely included.

Founded in 1995, CA (formerly Commonwealth Autism) works to impact capacity-development in human service systems through strategic public-private resource pairing, leadership, and collaboration.

To impact capacity-development in human service systems through strategic public-private resource pairing, leadership, and collaboration.

CA envisions a Virginia where all individuals have the opportunity to be securely included across the broad spectrum of our community – through quality education, healthcare & housing access, civic activities, and employment.

We will be flexible, we will adapt, and we will learn from safe failures. We will continually evolve to best meet the needs of Virginians where they are.

  1. Collaboration: We develop, maintain, and leverage relationships with those who strive to make human service systems work better for everyone.
  2. Commitment to Best Practice: We stay current with evidence-based and intervention research to ensure we provide support and help stabilize replication efforts of these best practices.
  3. Willingness to Challenge the Status Quo: We will confront challenges with innovative solutions to break down barriers to complex issues.
  4. Transparency: Our efforts will be open and honest in order to build trust among our staff, partners, and the community at large.
  5. Adaptability: We embrace change. Our ability to continually evolve to best meet the needs of our audience is, in fact, one of our biggest strengths.

Full inclusion is a cornerstone belief of CA that permeates our culture. Our working definition of full inclusion comes from the broadest lens and encompasses all individuals across racial, gender, dis/ability, sexual orientation, self-identity, age, cultural and geographic origin and language. We believe that our services must always be tailored with sensitivity and that by embracing the full array of what it means to be human we continually strengthen our organization.

For people with disabilities, we:

  • Provide accessible parking at the front entrance to our office at 4108 E. Parham Road.
  • Provide accessible restrooms.
  • Welcome Service animals (dogs) in our facilities.
  • provide certain assistive or adapted materials or services with at least 72 hours’ notice.
  • access a relay service for phone conversations with people who are deaf or hard of hearing or who have speech disabilities.
  • welcome volunteers with disabilities and ensure that they have meaningful work to do. The opportunity to serve is a benefit to them. Their talents are a benefit to us.
  • offer separate programs for people with disabilities only if necessary.
  • seek members of our board who will advocate for and are familiar with individuals with a variety of needs.
  • include in our policies and procedures considerations for people with disabilities in a variety of situations.
  • ensure our staff have an awareness of environmental modifications and accommodations that may be needed by individuals in the community.

We welcome suggestions for improvement. Please contact us via our website or at 804-355-0300.

Kitchen Conversations

A visionary group of parents of children with autism recognized significant service gaps in VA. The Autism Program of Virginia (TAP-VA) was formed.

Gaining Ground

General Assembly supported the mission through a state appropriation. A public-private partnership began.

Building Relationships

We held our inaugural annual Autism Conference to educate and train the community.

Feet on the Street

We began community organizing efforts around the state through Autism Action Groups.

Future Focus

Our strategy shifted and we began to focus our efforts on capacity building for service providers (school personnel, law enforcement etc.)

Forging an Identity

We began doing business as “Commonwealth Autism Service” to better reflect our mission, vision, and values of accessibility and inclusion.


We developed a trans-disciplinary diagnostic and assessment clinic, and began replicating our diagnostic assessment model around the state.

Reaching For More

We acquired The Dominion School for Autism and began providing direct services via this new outlet.

Expanding Services

Richmond House, a program offering residential and community supports, was acquired and joined our array of services.

Supporting Sustainability

We joined forces with other community partners to launch a Shared Service Alliance, supporting the sustainability of early childhood education centers.

A Rebrand + Rededication

Commonwealth Autism is now "CA". We’re still passionate about improving services for people with autism, AND, we’ll do more! Much more.


CA is guided by a dedicated, qualified team of trained behavioral health educators and advocates with a passion for innovation and policy advancement.

Jessica is a Licensed Behavior Analyst. She joined CA in 2003 and has been President…

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Vice President - Mission Initiatives

Courtney is a Licensed Behavior Analyst. She started with CA in 2015 as the Director…

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VP - Operational Support

Nan Pemberton began her association with CA in 2012. She served first on the Executive…

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Director of Education, Training & Support

Christine serves as the Director of Education, Training, & Support and has been with CA…

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Director of Programs

Miriam serves as the Director of Programs. She has been with CA since January 2018.…

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Director of Diagnostics & Research

Donald Oswald, PhD Donald is the Director of Diagnostics and Research at CA. He is…

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Finance Director

Pam Waterman is the Finance Director. In her role as the Finance Director, she provides…

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Board of Directors

CA is supported by a strong board of talented and distinguished members with a collective passion for community and behavioral health development.

Board Chair

Doug Garrou, Esq. is a lawyer with Hunton & Williams,…

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Don Busick is currently Senior Vice President of Digital at…

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Harry Alferink is retired from the private sector in chemical…

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Board Member

Ronald David, M.D., FAAP, FAAN, FANA is a pediatric neurologist…

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Board Member

Nikia Dower, MS, CCC-SLP/L, BCBA, LBA is President of Dower…

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Board Member

René Massey is a principal at The SalesBoost Companies. She…

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