On September 10, 2016, a select group — comprising autistic individuals, family members, service providers, policy makers, finance professionals, developers, and designers — sat down to address the challenge of autism housing in Massachusetts. The goal was to brainstorm housing options appropriate to the range of housing needs in the autism community, identifying models that might be built with public funds, private funds, or through public/private partnerships. Models were assessed against a crowd-sourced set of criteria that was developed through a Facebook page, MA Autism Housing Think Tank. A white paper summarizing the outcomes of the think-tank and making recommendations were shared with the housing committee of the Massachusetts Autism Commission, which has been tasked by the legislature with studying the housing needs of the Massachusetts autism community, and making recommendations.
This website was designed to provide background information to participants, the wider stakeholder community, and the general public. Material presented here includes:
- Videos presenting existing best-practice models and proposed concepts;
- Summaries of existing funding streams and the governmental regulations governing them;
- Research on disability housing;
- Literature on autism-friendly design principles; and
- Information on the use of technology to increase independence and reduce support costs.
The idea was to present information at whatever level the reader desires:
- At a glance (bullet points; any bulleted links comprise videos, blogs, one-pagers, summaries or reviews of longer publications, and info-graphics)
- Page text provides more detailed material to elaborate on at a glance bullet points
- Embedded links allow readers to do a deep dive (source material, presentations, white papers, etc.), as well as viewing the at a glance links
This project is a joint effort of Autism Housing Pathways, The Arc of Massachusetts, and Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts. Additional support is provided by Advocates, HMEA, and the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council.