The Autism Speaks Adult Services team works to promote services and supports for adults with autism spectrum disorders throughout the lifespan. Now a central pillar of the Autism Speaks mission, the team works to increase the quality and quantity of opportunities and resources available to adults with autism related to employment, housing and community living, postsecondary education, community integration and more.
Over the past three years, these efforts have largely been focused on helping adults with autism connect with crucial resources in their own communities.
Here is a glimpse of the efforts of the adult services work at Autism Speaks:
- $1.5 million in funding to community organizations for services for young adults and adults
- $550,000 in scholarships for young adults and adults with autism to attend postsecondary education programs from four year colleges to vocational program
- $300,000 to develop a Community-based Skills Assessment tool to help prepare children and young adults with autism for adulthood
- $350,000 toward a funders' collaborative of almost $7.5 million to support groundbreaking work in disability and employment
- $50,000 for the first-of-its-kind National Housing and Residential Supports survey designed to identify the most important and commonly recurring housing needs within autism community to advocate for more housing and residential supports services, which gathered over 10,000 responses, including several from individuals with autism
- $300,000 to Autistic Global Initiative to develop a Daily Living and Residential Supports curriculum to train caregivers and professionals providing services to individuals with autism in residential settings
- $300,000 in funding toward the Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism initiative
- A designated Autism Response Team member trained to answer calls and emails from adults with autism looking for resources and additional information
- Over 20 national town halls around the country to get the conversation started with thousands of people about employment and housing and residential supports
- A new commitment to develop and implement housing and community living policies and programs by working with federal, state, and local governments, individuals with autism and their families, and other stakeholder groups to ensure a diverse range of housing and support options for individuals with autism.
- Tool kits specifically for young adults and adults with autism that have been downloaded tens of thousands of times, including a Housing and Residential Supports Tool Kit, Employment Tool Kit, Transition Tool Kit and a Postsecondary Educational Opportunities Guide.
All of the grants, town halls, tool kits, etc. listed above are only a small part what we can all do to support a person with autism. But true impact is measured by each individual’s quality of life. Adults with autism are our neighbors, our friends, families and colleagues, and they are leading the future efforts of adult initiatives at Autism Speaks.
Learn more and find news and resources related to adults with autism here.