Every Autism family has had crisis moments, so we have to be realistic. There are families and individuals that can't self-advocate for themselves. The case in Connecticut is also about how “traditional” group homes, operated by “voluntary” agencies can choose whom they serve. As a fan of Self-Direction, I do realize that it is not for everyone. This case in Connecticut could be the start of a trend (bad) in the post-21 era. Let's figure it out:
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I think this Rutgers Center has significant potential to be a beacon of light for our community. Here is the ORIGINAL POST and the update below from Christopher Manente:
You are receiving this message in response to a previous inquiry that you have made about the Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services (RCAAS). I am writing with an update on the progress and current status of the RCAAS program. The RCAAS is officially approved as a provider of the NJ DDD supports program! The application for admissions to the RCAAS day program and detailed information about admission criteria and the application process will be accessible via our website at: http://rcaas.rutgers.edu at approximately 9am on Tuesday 2/21/2017. Specifically, there will be a tab on the RCAAS homepage with the heading “admissions” that you will be able to click in order to access the application. It is anticipated that the RCAAS will be accepting 2-3 participants to start the program in April 2017 and another 2-3 participants to start in June 2017 (4-6 total for 2017) via this round of applications.
Please continue to check the RCAAS website (rcaas.rutgers.edu) and our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ChristopherManente) where I will be posting any day to day updates regarding the center. I hope that you find this information helpful. As always, please let me know if you have any further questions.
Christopher J. Manente, Ph.D., BCBA
Executive Director, Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services
Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
152 Frelinghuysen Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Our focus is New York State housing issues and topics for the Developmentally Disabled, but we also look to new out-of-state new models for inspiration and ideas. Here are two in Phoenix and Dallas:
First Place - Phoenix, Arizona
First Place in Phoenix broke ground in December 2016, and it is a $15-million mixed-use development that is expected to open in 2018. Located in the heart of Phoenix, the contemporary, 56-unit property will be community-connected, transit-oriented and sustained by a suite of amenities and supportive services.The complex will have 56 apartments with varying layouts, a training academy for residents and a leadership institute for medical professionals and researchers when it is complete.
Denise Resnik is the Founder and Board Chair of First Place and I hope to visit the facility as they make progress in 2017. What they are building looks like a perfect model to emulate, and I am really inspired by this project.
- First Place aims to promote independence while maintaining appropriate support systems and safeguards.
- Officials chose the site largely for its proximity to public transportation, urgent care, and other amenities.
- The housing component is designed to minimize sensory overload and other challenges commonly related to autism.
- Residents will have private bedrooms, kitchens and living space.
- An on-site wellness coordinator will monitor their daily health-care needs and show them how to manage them on their own when possible.
- Some residents will attend two years of "Transition Academy" courses at GateWay Community College nearby, honing living skills from budgeting and cooking to managing relationships with roommates. They will develop professional skills and etiquette through volunteer positions and paid internships.
- First Place will work with the community to identify business partners interested in hiring graduates, facilitating matches based on students' interests and strengths.
- Officials envision First Place's third component, the leadership institute, as a national training and certification center that will "exponentially increase the number of high quality, well-trained and credentialed direct-support service providers" in the field of autism. Research fellows from Arizona State University or Teach For America will live alongside residents and help out.
- At $42,000 a year, the combined cost of living at First Place and attending the academy is steep. Officials have "been working hard to create scholarship opportunities" through fundraising and other efforts, according to spokeswoman Rachael Myer Curley.
- Rent starts at $3,000 a month for First Place residents not attending the academy.
29 Acres is in the fundraising stage, but the couple (Debra Caudy and Clay Heighten) leading the effort have made a significant investment to seed the project. 29 Acres is targeting to include 15 homes, a community center and access to a ‘transitional academy’ that is designed to help young adults with autism develop the skills needed to live and work independently. Highlights include:
- The initial design includes space for a 7,100-square-foot community center, and 15 homes of around 3,000 square feet that can be divided into duplexes or quads and house 56 people.
- Four homes will be built during phase one, and the first set of residents could move in by 2018.
- When complete, the complex will employ about 200 full- and part-time staff, including security guards, administration and one-on-one specialists who are experienced in living with and caring for people with developmental challenges.
We were recently introduced to the Office of Assemblymember Angelo Santabarbara from New York State Assembly District 111, and he is the father of an Autistic teenage son. In a recent press release about a new Autism Action Plan in New York, he stated:
"Autism Action NY" is a five-point plan that is focused on:
- increasing job opportunities;
- providing independent housing options;
- improving access to information;
- assisting in communication; and
- creating a centralized location for services in New York.
There are times when these types of plans have been seen as "window dressing" by Albany politicians. However, as a father of an Autistic teenager, I am very optimistic about this initiative.
One of my goals has been to figure out models where "Inclusion" can include Veterans and the Developmentally Disabled in supportive housing together. On this weekend of Army vs Navy football, this Navy family has a new Army friend in Albany as Assemblymember Santabarbara has served in the Army Reserves.
Contact/Follow Assemblymember Santabarbara here.
Mosaic Village was just announced north of Albany, New York:
"Rent will start at $600 per month and the hope is it will become an integrated community. The target tenant is Autistic young adults who have aged out of school and whose needs are changing."
For more information, see WNYT.com.
This week, I started the "Housing Navigator Course" that is being put on jointly by:
In August, I will be deemed a "Housing Navigator" for Developmentally Disabled Adults in New York State, and I expect to use this knowledge to advance the charter and mission of Carousel 51's focus on (RE)Purposing in the Developmentally Disabled market.