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Friday, November 29, 2019

Integrated Communities

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the day-to-day challenges facing autistic people and their families.  Housing is a big one for autistic adults.

Eileen Abbott at The Hill:
Some 87 percent of autistic adults live with their parents, according to the Autism Housing Network, and almost 1,000,000 of those live with family caretakers that are older than the age of 60. But what happens when the parents die?
Integrated communities are now emerging nationally as a possible solution where both neurotypical and developmentally disabled residents share living space in an opportunity to thrive together.
A housing model that best illustrates this is the Faison Residence in Virginia’s capital city. Located off West Broad Street in Richmond, the apartment complex dedicates one-third of its 45 units for adults with autism and other developmental differences.

“The Faison Residence is designed to develop and foster natural relationships between individuals in our program and members of their community,” says Director of Adult & Residential Services Matthew Osborne, in an interview with Changing America. “Our program apartments are scattered throughout the building, so their neighbors truly are their community.”
 Adults with autism tend to fall through the cracks, according to the Autism Housing Network. Less than 3 percent of autism research funding is for adult issues — even though autistic children grow up to be autistic adults. More than 75 percent of autistic adults report their top concern in securing housing is not being able to afford it. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, unemployment rates for people with disabilities are higher across all education levels compared to those without a disability.