FISA Foundation is proud to support out grantee partners in improving the lives of women, girls, and people with disabilities in southwestern Pennsylvania. See below some of the great work our grantee partners are accomplishing.

Group of 3 smiling black women who are parents with autism urban connection

Grantee Spotlight

Autism Urban Connections

Autism Urban Connections is the first and only African American, minority, family focused Autism nonprofit in Pennsylvania.  The organization was founded by Jamie Upshaw, a Black woman whose Autistic son was misdiagnosed as a young child, thereby missing key opportunities for early intervention. Her experience is not unique; research demonstrates that for African American children, there is an average 3-year delay between first parental developmental concern and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis.

“Our grantee partners are integral to igniting community change. We want to uplift and support them with the tools they need to positively impact women, girls, and people with disabilities.

Kristy Trautmann, Executive DIrector of FISA Foundation
Kathi Elliot, a black woman and founder of gwen's girls, standing outside at an event with people in white t-shirts

Gwen’s Girls

For the last twenty years, Gwen’s Girls has focused on empowering girls and young women to have productive lives through holistic, gender-specific programs, education, and experiences.

A happy interracial couple with a young daughter with down syndrome look and point at a computer screen together.

Pennsylvania Health Law Project

As PHLP uncovers individuals’ barriers to healthcare, it uses this information as it monitors and analyzes proposed policy changes and legislation. PHLP then works with its clients and other advocates to push for policy and program changes to improve access to healthcare for people with disabilities, and other low-income populations.

Person with gray hair writing on white board which is covered in images and writing about ending domestic violence


FISA’s support helped to launch and scale STANDING FIRM’s efforts to engage employers to Recognize the warning signs of abuse, Respond with support, and Refer employees to get free and confidential help through community-based services.

Latest Articles on Grantees

  • FISA Foundation Invests in Bringing Disability Lead to Southwestern PA

    FISA Foundation Invests in Bringing Disability Lead to Southwestern PA

    For many years, disability advocates in southwestern PA have worked to support the visible, diverse  leadership of people with disabilities. While strides have been made, there are still challenges around elevating disabled leaders to positions of power and influence, and to creating a culture where established leaders can openly acknowledge living with chronic conditions and […]

  • FISA Awards October 2023 Grants

    FISA Awards October 2023 Grants

    For its October 2023 grant cycle, FISA Foundation awarded $795,000 in grants to 9 organizations serving women, girls, and people with disabilities. Kristy Trautmann, Executive Director of FISA Foundation, stated, “We are proud to invest in local organizations working on-the-ground and meeting the needs of our region’s most vulnerable populations.” She added, “Our grantee partners […]

  • The AAC Institute Hosts the 2023 ICAN™ Talk AAC Summer Camp

    The AAC Institute Hosts the 2023 ICAN™ Talk AAC Summer Camp

    In the lobby of the Crown Plaza Pittsburgh South, families and children eagerly awaited the beginning of the 2023 ICAN™ Talk AAC Summer Camp. The AAC summer camp serves young people with disabilities like autism or cerebral palsy who have challenges with verbal communication and rely on alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) devices to speak. […]

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a group of black women and two men wearing red shirts smiling

Grantee Spotlight

Black Women’s Policy Center

Pittsburgh is often lauded as among the most livable cities in the country. While this may be true for some, it is certainly not the case for Black women. Rochelle Jackson, a Black woman with decades of public policy experience, is well aware of the racial and gender inequities that Black women experience in Pittsburgh. She launched the Black Women’s Policy Center to change systems and policies to ensure that Black women don’t just survive but thrive.