OneStep4Autism

   

            OneStep4Autism began as a website; a means for our blended family to share our story. By going public and on-line, we could reach out to a large audience to educate as well as be educated.  The autism community has a diverse “family unit”; with many looks, dynamics and experiences. Our initiatives aspire to provide families with autism opportunities for personal growth, social interaction and a sense of purpose. In addition, we seek to nurture compassion and understanding from individuals to entire communities. And finally we plan to network with other like-minded organizations, community leaders, families and individuals to provide access to resources and support for those who seek our help.

            OneStep4Autism’s aim is to lessen the burden of local and federal government as well as social service agencies. We plan to do this by primarily funding our programs and initiatives with both private and corporate tax exempt contributions as well as foundation grants. However we will seek necessary government grants if they map well with our mission and welcome volunteers, interns and in-kind donations.



Our Programs


1. Raising Awareness- This program has been implemented and is in progress. It was designed to educate the general public on autism and related issues by publishing both academic and personal articles on our website as well as autism related magazines, periodicals and journals. We are working to improve, revise and expand the OneStep4Autism.com website to increase awareness and promote tolerance.


Our goals are:

-Expand and encourage personal blogging and on-line interaction to provide support and information to the autism community.

 

-Continue to expand on social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to network, build relationships, share information and increase awareness

 

-Attend academic and other related conferences to increase our knowledge, visibility, and to expand and grow our network.


Opportunities include:

-Organize and participate in parent/family support and self-help groups for families with autism on a local level.

 

-Volunteer & seek other volunteers to assist with local charities such as Special Olympics and/or Challenger leagues as well as charities that focus on the arts or other interests.

 

-Develop music programs/workshops for special education schools that have lost music    programs due to budget issues. Provide opportunities for students to develop musical, vocal and performance talents.

 

2. Consulting/Advocacy- This program is in development and designed to work with individuals, families and professionals to maximize the concepts of self-direction and self-determination as it relates services and resources.


Opportunities include:

-Attend Individual Education Program (IEP), school board or other school meetings with individuals and families to facilitate implementation of desired services.

 

-Advocate for and represent individuals and families with existing agencies to obtain desired services.

 

-Network with local social workers as a consultant to assist/network with individuals and families seeking supports.

 

-Network with disability & special education attorneys as a consultant to assist with legal matters pertaining to the needs of individuals and their families.

 

-Research and locate specific resources that individuals are seeking (day programs, educational opportunities, housing, work study, medical or mental health, etc.) both locally and if need be, out of state.

 

-Work with families to locate respite resources that are accessible and available.

 

-Assist government agencies (local, county, state) as advocates for individuals and families seeking supports.

 

            This program offers OneStep4Autism the ability to utilize professional and personal knowledge and experiences; putting them into practice in the local community to achieve desired outcomes for all who seek help. In addition to donations from individuals and local businesses, consultation work would also be reimbursed according to a sliding scale fee schedule.


3. Our House- Adult Residence- This program is in the development stage and is the priority initiative for our organization. It is aimed to provide a unique/alternative housing experience for transitioning adults with autism and developmental disabilities. A house where individuals have a true sense of home; becoming part of our family based on our approach, accessibility and availability. Residents will become “homeowners” in a sense, seeing what it takes to run a household. Furthermore, while our family will be living alongside individuals, providing that veil of security and supervision if needed, we will strive to promote an independent living situation driven by self-direction and self-determination. It is not intended to be a transition residence to another housing situation (although it can be) but rather a sanctuary, the experience of being “home”. We believe our approach will alleviate anxiety and provide comfort and safety for individuals as well as peace of mind for their family and guardians.


Our Opportunities and Goals-

-Promoting an inclusive community, we strive to provide adults with autism and developmental disabilities opportunities for personal growth, social interaction and a sense of purpose.

 

-In carrying out our exempt purpose, we will work to employ our residents (if they choose to) or other adults with autism or developmental disabilities wherever possible in positions needed for up-keep such as landscaping, snow removal and maintenance, etc.

 

-We will seek funding for art, music, exercise and other recreational activities for our family to explore and experience.

 

            OneStep4Autism, Inc. believes individuals with autism and developmental disabilities have the right to live and work in integrated settings with neurotypical colleagues, be afforded the same wages, and contribute to society in a meaningful way. The purpose of this program is to effectively facilitate a sense of family and community as we live and work together, improving the quality of life for all of us.

            In the development stage, can now move forward as we have found our home, the ideal place to for us to meet the needs of our individuals as well as the goals of the organization’s mission. Funding for this program will come from private and corporate contributions as well as local business donations. We will also depend on in-kind donations and community volunteers.