There has been a vast amount of awareness raised and action taken for children with autism over the past decade—but people over the age of 18 are often left with few options when they age out of “the system.”
Rutgers University is launching a new initiative to help. When it opens in 2018, the Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services will be offering up to 60 adults with autism the chance to work independently at specific jobs on campus, and giving 20 of those individuals the chance to live on-site alongside college students.
Rutgers President Robert Barchi said the New Jersey university intends to demonstrate how educational institutions can become part of the answer by providing a model that integrates academic research, student training and community inclusion of adults with autism.
The school in New Brunswick is raising funds to be able to construct two buildings that will make the opportunity possible.
The first, which is slated to open in the fall of 2018, will house a program that offers office employment to people during the week. Conference rooms and computers will be used to conduct “life skills training”. A second building nearby will house 20 adults with autism spectrum disorder. 20 Rutgers graduate students will also live there in apartments, each equipped with kitchen, dining room, living room and laundry room.
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So far, half of the university’s $35 million fundraising goal has been met.
Photo credits: (home) KOMUnews; (top) slgckgc, CC