In 2014, Autism Speaks launched a Housing and Community Living Initiative that works to increase access to home and community based services (HCBS), and increase the capacity of HCBS providers to serve adults with autism and increase available housing options. We launched this initiative with a specific focus on three states in 2015: Florida, Illinois and New Jersey.
Autism Speaks staff is working with our volunteer advocates and staff in these states to help advocate for HCBS and housing options for adults with autism. Currently, there are more than 20,000 individuals on waiting lists in Florida and Illinois and thousands are waiting for services in New Jersey as well. For the thousands of individuals with autism aging into adulthood each year, this limited HCBS capacity puts their independence and well-being at risk. In order to make a difference, we’re working across our volunteer base and with other advocacy organizations that are working to eliminate waiting lists for these critical supports.
This initiative is rolling out rapidly and staff members are working with agencies in each state to make sure HCBS programs are reaching adults with autism and their families when they need services. As activities get underway, we will keep everyone updated with the latest developments. You can learn more about the initiative in Illinois, Florida and New Jersey, including how you can take action and voice your concerns and opinions to state officials.
If you would like to be a volunteer leading on these efforts in your city or state, please email us at email@example.com!