A variety of components were discussed on Day 2 at the Housing Needs session of the Autism Investment Conference. The session, which was monitored by Autism Speaks Executive Vice President of Programs and Services Lisa Goring, featured four companies as well as three panelists. Each panelist is an expert in a topic related to housing needs and brought valuable input to the discussion :
Finding Innovative Solutions to Meet the Needs of Each Individual in the Home
Panelist and Special Needs Housing Consultant George Braddock discussed his company Creative Housing Solution's focus on person-centered planning principles to homes for people with disabilities. George's guiding principle is that through careful planning, design and product selection, it is possible to make homes that are healthy and safe and that eliminate obstacles, reduce restrictions and increase individual control, independence and choice. Learn more about the innovations George has been pioneering here.
Working with Local Government
Panelist Tom Toronto is the President of Bergen County United Way in New Jersey. In 2010, Tom's organization built an award winning project in Allendale – recipient of the Governor’s Excellence in Housing Award – for individuals with developmental disabilities including autism and a second project was opened in January. Tom's focus is on working with local governments to help meet the public need for affordable and special-needs housing. Legislators have an obligation to support this community and Tom's work in New Jersey is a perfect model of what can be accomplished for individuals with autism by working with the government.
Connecting with Investors
Third panelist John Maltby, the Director of Community Service Programs at Westchester Institute for Human Development in Valhalla, New York, spent 36 years on Wall Street as a proprietary trader and hedge fund manager. His focus is on allocating existing resources to smaller and more integrated housing. John's background and experitse allows him to help connect potenetial investors with opportunities in the disability housing market.
Four different companies were showcased today that provide an array of services in the field of housing and residential supports for the autism community. The various companies will share their expertise on the following topics:
- Technology in the home (Community Living Options)
- The importance of training residential care providers (Autistic Global Initiative)
- Specialized care for individuals with autism in the home (Center for Discovery)
- The provision of services designed to increase indepence and community integration for adults on the spectrum (First Place AZ)
Learn more about the resources Autism Speaks has created focused on housing and residential supports for adults with autism, including the Housing and Residential Supports Tool Kit, here.