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SARRC Outreach Magazine

Opening Doors


We are pleased to share with you Opening Doors: A Discussion of Residential Options for Adults Living with Autism and Related Disorders, a newly released collaborative study by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Arizona, Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC), the Arizona State University (ASU) Stardust Center for Affordable Homes and the Family and the ASU Herberger Institute School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

The study focuses on the residential concerns of adults living with autism and related disorders and is designed to advance the development of replicable residential models that offer quality, affordable housing options within the fabric of their communities. It also addresses current and projected demand for life-long living options that support the segment of individuals with autism spectrum and related disorders unable to live on their own. Further, the study explores the financial catalysts needed to spur new investment by the private and public sectors to meet projected demand and advocates for the creation of public, private and non-profit collaborations to address long-term residential concerns.

The companion study for Opening Doors is Advancing Full Spectrum Housing: Designing for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders, produced by the Arizona State University Stardust Center for Affordable Homes and the Family, and ASU Herberger Institute School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

These studies were funded through grants by Urban Land Foundation, Pivotal Foundation and SARRC.

The dramatic increase in the population of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) gives rise to serious concern among families, service providers, government and the community at-large that residential services for post-school-age adults with autism and developmental disorders must be created as an integral part of a healthy community’s housing plan and opportunities.

The studies are intended to highlight existing residential options and support services, and guide the development of new ones so they may serve as organic living and learning laboratories for scholars, social workers and families. The studies explore services in the home; the funding required for those services and the home itself; and the design of the home.

Opening Doors proposes actionable steps that address the increasing demand for supportive housing and communities, which maximize independent living. SARRC plans to advance the recommendations included in this report together with local and national collaborating partners from the public, private and nonprofit sectors.