More Research Funding for Adult Autism and Pressing Housing Issues Pushed by 87 Organizations Led by Autism Housing Network and First Place Global Leadership Institute

More Research Funding for Adult Autism and Pressing Housing Issues Pushed by 87 Organizations Led by Autism Housing Network and First Place Global Leadership Institute
Gaithersburg, MD, March 03, 2020 --( With the exponential increase in the population of children with autism transitioning to adulthood annually and following the investment of billions of dollars in research, early diagnosis, interventions and education, a road map to understanding how best to impact life course outcomes is needed now more than ever.

Eighty-seven organizations from across the nation, led by the Autism Housing Network (AHN) in partnership with First Place Global Leadership Institute, co-signed a letter to the leadership of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) to strongly encourage the committee to prioritize autism research to impact challenges faced in adulthood:

Respond to Question 5 of the 2017 IACC Strategic Plan, “What Kinds of Services and Supports are Needed to Maximize Quality of Life for People on the Autism Spectrum?,” which received only 5% of research funding

Respond to Question 6 of the 2017 IACC Strategic Plan, “How Can We Meet the Needs of People with ASD as They Progress into and through Adulthood?,” which received only 2% of research funding

Continue the IACC Housing Workgroup, “Addressing the Housing Needs of People on the Autism Spectrum,” which last convened on July 23, 2019

As active participants in the development of a better future, AHN and First Place are investing considerable time and effort to collaborate with and engage industry leaders both within and outside of the "autism" community to develop a path for more residential choices as adults on the autism spectrum are being displaced from their communities for lack of residential options and/or experiencing homelessness.

In October 2019, the Autism Housing Network and The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Center for Public Policy at the First Place Global Leadership Institute gathered experts from across the country for a Neuro-Inclusive Real Estate Think Tank facilitated by the Arizona State University Morrison Institute on Public Policy. These representatives from the public, private, not-for-profit and philanthropic sectors recognize and are responding to the residential crisis. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every 59 children are on the autism spectrum, yet residential support is currently available to only one in 498 of the population. Leaders gathered to identify barriers and discuss opportunities for major expansion of a supportive housing marketplace needed to meet the ever-increasing and broad demand for more options.

The joint sign-on letter went on to state, “We believe innovative housing models like the properties and their representatives who spoke at the last IACC Housing Work Group, ‘Addressing the Housing Needs of People on the Autism Spectrum’ on July 23, 2019, must be studied as they provide evidence that the built environment combined with technology, individualized service delivery, and fostering of integration with the broader community may deliver better outcomes for the broad neurodiverse population in a more cost effective manner.

Unfortunately, barriers to innovation exist. Due to lack of research, current policy and regulations regarding federal and state funding streams are based largely on ideology rather than evidence-based practice.”

Read letter and see the Sign-on Organizations:

About Madison House Autism Foundation:
Madison House Autism Foundation (MHAF), established in 2007, is nationally recognized as one of the first organizations to focus on the needs of adults on the autism spectrum and other intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD). Once individuals reach the age of 21, their services fall off; often referred to as the "cliff," resulting in unmet needs for support services, employment opportunities, and friendship. MHAF creates awareness and solutions for the lifespan challenges faced by autistic adults to live as independently as possible, make their own life choices, hold jobs, feel connected to their communities, and become participating members of society.

About the Autism Housing Network:
The Autism Housing Network (AHN) is a project of the Madison House Autism Foundation that brings together the best ideas on housing for the neurodiverse population. It is an online, national hub of information about housing and support services for individuals with autism and other intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD). The AHN strives to inspire, empower and provide technical assistance to the development of local solutions responding to the national housing and support crisis.

About First Place Global Leadership Institute:
The First Place Global Leadership Institute represents a faculty of experts from around the world focused on pressing concerns for accessibility to more housing and independent living options for individuals with autism and other neurodiversities. It serves as an international education and training center for professionals, support staff and medical personnel, as well as a robust site for research and advancements in public policy. Since 2017, the Global Leadership Institute has hosted semi-annual symposia (spring and fall), attracting pioneers in the field from across the country and around the world. Attendees gather to share ideas for advancing a new wave of home and community solutions through replicable, sustainable models and public, private, nonprofit and philanthropic collaboration. The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Center for Public Policy, represents one of the Institute’s five centers, leading its policy agenda and advocacy.
Autism Housing Network
Desiree Kameka
(240) 246-7140