Phoenix, Arizona – June 18, 2004 a ribbon cutting ceremony opening First Place AZ residential community for adults with autism was held. With the help of the Southwest Autism Research and Recourse Center (SARRC) and the development by the Foundation for Senior Living (FSL) in collaboration with First Place AZ this residential community is opening it’s doors.
DECCA Multi-Family Builders and Dohrmann Architects, Inc., the development team , designed these apartment with the needs of adults on the autism spectrum living independently in mind.
First Place Az is a non profit organization founded by Denise Resnick who is also the co-founder of SARRC. She has worked toward advancing innovative residential options for adults on the autism spectrum. First Place Az is pleased to open this development as a testing site for larger properties that are in the development stage.
At the ribbon cutting ceremony Daniel Openden, CEO of SARRC said
“Building a residential program with clearly stated goals of transitioning adults to live as independently as possible in their home communities is a bod venture and logical next step.”
First Place Az is opening this development as a testing site for larger properties that are in the development stage. This first development will consist of fifteen senior citizen apartments and six two bedroom apartments for adults on the autism spectrum. Each has been fully furnished by Del Sol Furnishings. FSL will support the complex with its technology and communication platform designed specifically for this property.
First Place Academy and SARRC are now evaluating prospective candidates for this program. They will be following the Taft College Transition to Independent Living (TIL) Program founded by Jeff Ross in 1995. The program is based on career readiness. His success with TIL in California saved the state hundreds of millions of dollars by reducing the amount of state funded support needed.
Ross has recently retired from his position in California and will joint the First Place Academy as its executive Director. His knowledge and passion will make this ribbon cutting ceremony opening a residential community for adults with autism a success along with First Place AZ and SARRC.
SARRC and The Foundation for Senior Living will work with First Place Az to find this larger property. Both have become as empowered as Resnick. All want to see this new Academy and housing complex. As Jeff Ross, CEO of SARRC, said
“Building a residential program with the clearly stated goal of transitioning adults to live as independently as possible in their home community is both a bold venture and logical next step.”
First Place is in the forefront empowering and advising similar advancements in the public sector. With over 1.5 million adults on the autism spectrum and countless more children reaching adulthood the Resnick is hoping to involve the public sector. Encouragement to support models like this will bring many, many more adults on the autism spectrum to their full potential.
A community developed for those on the autism spectrum provides new information and developmental techniques. This will enhance both the lives of those becoming independent and piece of mind for their families now and in the future.
First Place Az, SARRC and the Foundation for Senior living all look forward to another apartment complex for adults with autism opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony soon.
For more information and to follow the progress please visit the First Place AZ website here
Contributed by Mary Alexa Norris, teacher and writer with a passion for empowering those on the autism spectrum and with special needs.