AFAM
Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts
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Autism Awareness Day 2017


YOUR INPUT IS NEEDED!

On April 11, 2017 at The College of the Holy Cross, HMEA, the leading provider of autism services in Central Massachusetts, will host its 3rd Annual Central Massachusetts Autism Summit, focused on Employment. As part of the program, HMEA is conducting a survey to gain input directly from individuals with autism, and families, about successes and challenges in the workplace. Please use the links below and contribute to this important effort.

Individual’s survey:
Nationally the unemployment rate for people with autism is very high. It is estimated to be between 70 and 80% in some sections of the country. HMEA and Clark University have developed a survey to learn more about this issue with the hope of sharing the results of the survey in April at our Autism Summit to be held at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA. We are sending you a link to access the survey so your voice can be heard. Our hope is to develop a plan based on your input and to expand employment options for people currently seeking employment. Your input is appreciated; please take the survey.


Family’s survey:
Nationally the unemployment rate for people with autism is very high. It is estimated to be between 70 and 80% in some sections of the country. HMEA and Clark University have developed a survey to learn more about this issue with the hope of sharing the results of the survey in April at our Autism Summit to be held at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA. We are sending you a link to access the survey so your voice can be heard. Our hope is to develop a plan based on your input and to expand employment options for people currently seeking employment. Your input is appreciated; please take the short survey.


AFAM Housing Policy

Massachusetts is currently faced with a dramatic increase in the number of people with autism who are aging into adulthood. These adults are in urgent need of affordable housing options – a priority identified by the March 2013 Report of the Massachusetts Autism Commission.

AFAM’s member organizations have engaged in intense discussions over the past several months concerning the current lack of adequate housing for adults with autism. Debate has taken place regarding the housing settings and models most appropriate to respond to these urgent needs. These discussions have been energized by recently-adopted policies and regulations developed by governmental agencies, affecting various State and Federal funding streams earmarked for housing.

AFAM’s member organizations are in agreement that people with autism should have access to a variety of housing options, and be able to choose those that meet their personal need and preferences. These options (and necessary, associated supports) should be designed to foster health, happiness, safety and growth in the least restrictive environment possible to ensure the best possible person-centered outcomes for each individual. Recognizing that autism affects each individual in unique ways, it is AFAM’s position that an individualized approach to housing is appropriate.

AFAM’s advocacy will focus on ways to increase and improve the overall amount and variety of affordable housing options for adults with autism. Potential housing options may include those that are financed publicly, privately, or through ‘blended’ funding approaches, in order to maximize choices and provide for a spectrum of needs across the lifespan.

-----Adopted August 25, 2015


About Advocates for Autism for Massachusetts (AFAM)

Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts was formed in 2004 to address the need for public advocacy on behalf of individuals, families and professionals who have or deal with people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) which also encompasses Asperger's Syndrome and high-functioning Autism. The organization provides an important arena for mobilizing those of us who deal with ASD in our day-to-day lives as the most eloquent and persuasive spokespeople for our concerns. Our efforts focus not only on the State House but also on towns and city halls that also have responsibility for service delivery and funding.


Mission  

Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts will strive to assure the human and civil rights of individuals of all ages across the entire Autism Spectrum and promote the availability of essential supports so that they may live fully and enjoy the same opportunities as other citizens of the Commonwealth.  We will educate individuals with ASD, their families and other AFAM members/supporters to be effective, vigorous agents of change. Read more.


Action Alerts: Please visit the Government Affairs page.

This web site was last updated 31 March 2017

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