The Anthony Family Foundation for Autism Support, Inc. is a non-profit organization under the guidance and financial management of the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Counties located in Montgomery, N.Y. Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan is a 501c3 organization supporting many funds and foundations in the Hudson Valley region.
The corporation was formed for the charitable purpose of providing life skills and a place for companionship for moderately functional autistic young adults between the ages of 18 through 30 residing in the Hudson Valley. Services shall include providing a safe physical environment for such autistic young adults to socialize and engage in recreational activities, as well as providing life skills speakers who shall discuss essential life topics such as personal financial management, meal preparation, doing laundry, and maintaining one’s personal hygiene. Notwithstanding the foregoing, and except for the required approval of the Department of State, under no circumstances shall the corporation engage in any activities requiring the consent or approval of any other governmental agency or office under section 404 of the Not-for-Profit Corporation Law.
The center will provide individuals with an atmosphere of emotional and physical safety where individuals can develop positive relationships and social skills in an atmosphere of trust and respect. The focus of the center will be on having fun, being safe, improving connections with others, reinforcing strengths, and helping individuals develop and participate as full members of the community. The center will provide a relaxing setting and allow members to come together in a non-threatening environment.
Time and day of operation will be determined. Activities will be developed by the coordinator and volunteers.
The Anthony Family Foundation for Autism Support, Inc. was created in December, 2011. Jay and Carol live in Orange County, N.Y., and have two sons in their 20s; Matthew and Brett. Brett is a young adult classified on the autism spectrum.
During Brett’s adolescent years, services supporting his disability were available via the educational system. Once Brett completed his educational requirements (IEP Diploma), services were sparse and not easily identified or located. Carol and Jay researched young adult transitional type services in their local area and could not find what they were looking for or the agencies that offered some support did not have the funding to fully implement. The type of services that Jay and Carol were looking for comprised of the following:
- Independent Living Support
- Job Coach and Job Search Support
- Social Networking
- Basic Life Skill educational opportunities
Since these types of supports were difficult to find, The Anthony Family Foundation for Autism Support, Inc. was founded to provide the support that young adults classified within the autism spectrum find necessary for the transition to functional, independent adulthood.
The Anthony Family Foundation, in partnership with Mental Health Association of Orange County created a Young Adults Program called Blue Renaissance. Blue Renaissance will select various local venues on a monthly basis where young adults can come together to learn about existing community events, connect with people who share similar interests and just be themselves and have FUN! The Group will encompass this by providing venues where they meet to enjoy, and share passions based on individuals’ interests. Social mixers will introduce and connect members of Blue Renaissance to peers from local colleges and similar organizations. Members will also plan events on their own to raise awareness about social issues. Young adults will be supported to share any cause that is meaningful to them and will plan events to raise awareness using local organizations.
Personal Outcome Measures
One significant measure of quality in our system of supports is the outcomes for the person achieved by the supports in place.
The Office for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) has embraced the Council on Quality and Leadership’s (CQL) Personal Outcome Measures (POMs) as the person centered quality of life measurement that will be used as a critical quality measure. Personal outcome measures enhance the system to focus on quality from the perspective of the individual receiving services. It is anticipated that the POMs will help OPWDD to:
- Ensure a more person centered system – meaning that supports will better match each person’s unique identified interests and needs, including opportunities for self-direction;
- Serve people in the most integrated settings possible and in the communities they choose to live;
- Provide for better integrated, holistic planning and supports for individuals; and
- Measure quality based on individualized outcomes.
The Council and Quality and Leadership (CQL) developed a list of 21 personal outcomes designed to measure if the person is supported in a way that achieves the outcomes that are most important to them. These outcome measures focus on a person’s uniqueness and evaluate the effect of the supports in place through the lens of the person.
The use of the CQL POMs will be incorporated into the system over time. However, we should begin immediately considering the outcomes most important to people receiving supports as we work with them to develop a person centered plan. These outcome areas are defined below.
The Council on Quality Leadership Personal Outcome Measures
Personal Outcome Measures focus on the choices people have and make in their lives. The Personal Outcome Measures developed by CQL are organized into 3 topic areas highlighted below:
1. People are connected to support networks
2. People have intimate relationships
3. People are safe.
4. People have the best possible health.
5. People exercise rights.
6. People are treated fairly.
7. People are free from abuse and neglect.
8. People experience continuity and security.
9. People decide when to share personal information.
1. People choose where and with whom they live.
2. People choose where they work.
3. People use their environments.
4. People live in integrated environments.
5. People interact with other members of the community.
6. People perform different social roles.
7. People choose services.
1. People choose personal goals.
2. People realize personal goals.
3. People participate in the life of the community.
4. People have friends.
5. People are respected.
From the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL), 2005
The Anthony Family Foundation for Autism Support, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization. All gifts are tax deductible and irrevocable under current tax laws. No goods or services were provided in exchange for this contribution.