Newsletter – April 2021

Spring Symposium Attendees Visit the Past—and Focus on the Future

We’re thrilled with the success of the ninth Global Leadership Institute Symposium earlier this month. Participation and presentations via webinar by so many pioneering leaders from across North America and around the world—representing 30 states and six countries—is a testament to the continued commitment to fuel a new generation of housing and community options for people with autism and other neurodiversities everywhere.

Huge thanks to our presenting sponsors Make Waves and Interest Ministries for their steadfast support of this seminal semiannual event that brings so many committed people together primed to move the needle on adult options and life course outcomes. 

To further fortify those on their paths to what’s next, First Place is offering a series of three workshops focused on relevant, timely topics. Attendance is limited, so please register soon. The conversation continues at the fall symposium October 13-15, so save the dates!

Triple-Match Challenges Helps First Place Make Waves

Thanks to Make Waves Family Foundation, First Place AZ raised nearly $100,000 the week of April 19 in a very enthusiastic response to a triple-match challenge in recognition of Autism Acceptance Month.

Make Waves is committed to providing innovative, scalable and replicable programs addressing the lifelong needs of young adults on the autism spectrum. This includes housing, independent-living skills, education and employment. Collaborating with passionate, likeminded nonprofits like Make Waves helps keep First Place focused on our vision of ensuring that housing and community options are as bountiful for individuals with autism and other neurodiversities as they are for everyone else.

It is with boundless gratitude that we acknowledge the Roth family and everyone who enabled us to benefit from the generous match. Thank you for all the ways you support us daily and help us continue moving forward in our mission to create a supportive, sustainable community where adults with autism and other neurodiversities live and thrive with pride, purpose and endless possibilities!

Vaccine #2 Brings Welcome Relief to Residents

First Place–Phoenix residents stepped up on behalf of their own health and that of those around them when they returned this month for COVID-19 vaccine #2. Everyone knew what to expect this time and collectively sighed with relief when it was over. They also benefitted from a webinar in advance of both Moderna doses to address general questions and possible side effects. Thanks again to Scottsdale Physician’s Group for their support of First Place helping residents learn to manage their healthcare on the path to healthier, more successful independent living. 

Phoenix Is “Having a Moment”

In honor of Autism Acceptance Month, reporter BrieAnna J. Frank spoke with several First Place residents to learn about how we can better understand adults with autism and what more can be done within the community to address their needs. Frank’s article highlights the progress we’re making at First Place in collaboration with our sister nonprofit the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC) and other partners, including Dignity Health and Creighton University School of Medicine’s new Health Sciences Campus. It also explores how the expansion of programs and initiatives can help the Valley become more understanding, accepting and supportive.

Denise Resnik’s Latest Blog

Read Denise’s latest blog about lessons learned at First Place—and other places—on the path to fueling a new generation of housing and community options for people with autism and other neurodiversities.

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