Who are we?
Parents who have experienced the challenges of finding employment and social opportunities post-high school with our daughter.
Maintaining gainful employment is a crucial way for differently-abled people to participate more freely in society and to create more opportunities for themselves. And it has been demonstrated that differently-abled people enrich their workplaces through their strengths, experiences and insights, and play an essential role in changing societal perspectives. Their attention to detail, deeper commitment levels, superior customer care, higher learnability — they tend not to repeat mistakes — and lower attrition levels are a big plus to an employer. Yet there are limited job opportunities for them. We can make a difference by fulfilling our mission.
The Broad Need
● More than 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder. (Buescher et al., 2014)
● Prevalence in the United States is estimated at 1 in 59 births. (CDC, 2018)
● Prevalence of autism in U.S. children increased by 119.4 percent from 2000 (1 in 150) to 2010 (1 in 68). (CDC, 2014)
● Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability. (CDC, 2008)
● Prevalence has increased by 6-15 percent each year from 2002 to 2010. (Based on biennial numbers from the CDC)
● 35 percent of young adults (ages 19-23) with autism have not had a job or received postgraduate education after leaving high school.
(Shattuck et al., 2012)
● In June 2014, only 19.3 percent of people with disabilities in the U.S. were participating in the labor force – working or seeking work. Of those, 12.9 percent were unemployed, meaning only 16.8 percent of the population with disabilities was employed. (By contrast, 69.3 percent of people without disabilities were in the labor force, and 65 percent of the population without disabilities was employed.) (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014)