Local Housing & Autism – 2019 AFC Community Discussions Summary (03-19-2019)

Through its Autism Friendly Community partnerships, Autism McLean gathered local residential providers and support services to help local families understand the services currently offered and to identify future needs. Public events focused on housing needs for people with autism were held February 19 and March 19, 2019 at the Illinois State University Alumni Center in Normal. Below are resources and a summary.

March 19 Presentation Summary and Agenda:

Media Coverage: Pantagraph article and WGLT Report

What does it mean? Acronyms list

McLean County Regional Planning Commission “Consolidated Plan” Citizen Survey on local housing needs:

  • We highly encourage autism families and individuals to explain your autism housing, accommodations, and service needs the comments sections of the survey.
  • If you need ideas for how to respond, we’ve drafted suggested responses to put in your own words.

The February 19 meeting provided basic information about housing and funding sources, followed by participant table discussions that helped determine topics addressed at the March 19 meeting. About 75 people participated, identifying a strong interest in local residential services for people on the autism spectrum.

Participant feedback from the February 19 discussion groups identified key concerns among parents and guardians:

  • Types and local availability of housing and residential services for people with autism
  • How staff is trained
  • Ensuring the safety and dignity of residents
  • How to get information and supports, finding the right fit for individual needs
  • Support and networking for parents
  • Quality of life for residents – life-long learning, socialization, transportation, employment, etc.
  • Funding and how to navigate the complex systems of funding, eligibility, etc.

A planning event will be held 6-8 pm on May 21 at the Normal Public Library Community Room, focused on future needs, dreams and goals, exploring how to meet growing housing needs in the community. Parents, caregivers, advocates and adults with autism are invited to participate.

To be a truly Autism Friendly Community, we need appropriate residential options for all of our community members with autism. “A place for me” means a safe, appropriate, place called home that meets the unique needs of each individual and is truly a part of our community.

For more information, contact [email protected]

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