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BUILDING THE BRIDGE TO ADULTHOOD


BRIDGE BUILDING For nearly 25 years, the Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA) has been building bridges. Since its inception, VIA has provided a lifeline of hope to children and families confronting the challenges of autism. As the organization has grown and evolved, we have worked to bridge science and service to build a brighter future for our students. Now, VIA seeks to build the bridge to adulthood. Adults with autism face a daunting challenge. A lack of funding for adult services reduces opportunities for a more healthy, connected, and meaningful life. VIA is creating something that simply hasn’t existed before in our community. We are establishing a new facility that extends

“The number one question asked by parents of children with autism is ‘What will happen to my child when I’m gone?’ The CAAAS offers an answer by providing a place for adults to continue to learn, grow, connect, and belong.” — ETHAN LONG, VIA President

our specialized care, training, and support to the growing number of individuals with autism who are transitioning to adulthood. Please join us as we build our next bridge. Your support will change lives and empower our students and clients to become productive and fulfilled citizens in a richer and more autism-friendly world.

CENTER FOR ADOLESCENT AND ADULT AUTISM SERVICES (CAAAS)

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A GROUNDBREAKING FACILITY

With the purchase and renovation of a 22,000-squarefoot building on Hillsdale Drive (formerly the Senior Center), VIA is leading the way in creating a new model to serve teens and adults with autism. The new Center for Adolescent and Adult Autism Services (CAAAS) will provide an optimal environment for learning life skills, job training, paid employment, and developing community connections.

BUILDING THE BRIDGE TO ADULTHOOD


The Bridge To Adulthood Campaign seeks to raise financial support for

the purchase and renovation of a new, state-of-the art center that will foster the transition to an adulthood of greater connection, independence and personal growth.

LEARNING TOGETHER

For many with autism, challenges related to communication, behavior and social connections continue through high school and into adulthood. This new building allows VIA to integrate adolescent and adult learning, while also offering opportunities for community connection.

FOSTERING INDEPENDENCE

491 HILLSDALE DRIVE CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA [ BASEMENT PLAN ] • Adult Classroom • Life Skills Apartment

The Challenge The prospects for young

adults with autism in their mid-20s are extremely limited.

www.viacenters.org

In a specially designed apartment, adult learners gain experience with cooking, doing laundry, making a bed, and other self-care skills that lead to greater self-reliance and independence.

AT AGE

ONLY

OVER

school-based services and funding end

have jobs in the community

still live with their parents

22

14% 71% 2


[ FIRST FLOOR PLAN ] PARTNERING WITH BUSINESSES

It is critical that individuals with autism develop skills that will help them integrate into their community. CAAAS provides an expanded home for the Community Partners Internship Program, which places students in intensive, individualized job training programs and internships with local businesses.

• • • • • •

General reception Café/Shop flex classrooms Home Economics Social Center Nurses’ Office

A Lasting Legacy Your leadership gift can be made in memory or in honor of loved ones, and commemorative naming opportunities are available. For more information, contact VIA’s Director of Advancement at 434-529-8302 or advancement@viacenters.org. 3

BUILDING THE BRIDGE TO ADULTHOOD


LEARNING PRACTICAL SKILLS

Practice makes perfect. Our flexible classrooms provide opportunities to learn a wide variety of skills that many people take for granted.

CONNECTING TO COMMUNITY

CAAAS will also be a gathering place for social and community activity, opening its doors to a more connected and independent adulthood. A spacious reception area with café will welcome guests to discussion groups, support groups, classes, and community events.

A Family’s Journey with VIA David and Donna Cattell-Gordon first suspected that their son Daniel had autism when he was just three months old. “We felt isolated in a powerful way,” David says. “There was a profound sense of loss, knowing that Daniel would never experience many of the things that bring joy. Autism closed off the world.” Two years later, they joined with Bernie

huggable, gentle giant,” as his dad describes

and Alison Webb to co-found the Virginia

him. The two love strolling the Downtown

Institute of Autism in 1996. Daniel and the

Mall together, getting pizza and going to

Webbs’ two children, Harry and Georgia,

movies, and Daniel stops and listens to the

were among the first of hundreds of children

many community members who know him

with autism to benefit from VIA’s services.

by name.

“VIA became a bridge over barriers,”

This is the constellation of connections

David says. “It was a bridge out from

that VIA makes possible as Daniel and

isolation to connectedness — both to Daniel

others continue to grow as adult learners.

and to others.”

“This was our vision from the beginning,

Now 28, Daniel is part of VIA’s Adult

which has led us to this next step of

Services program. At 7 feet tall, he’s well

meaningful aging,” David says. “Daniel has a

suited for his role as the top-shelf stacker

place that’s his place, and it’s his bridge to

for VIAble Ventures and has become “a

the community.”

www.viacenters.org

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[ SECOND FLOOR PLAN ] • VIAble ventures Center • Staff OFFICES AND Lounge • President’s Office

GROWING PARTNERSHIPS, SUPPORTING STAFF

Collaborations with partners like the University of Virginia are essential to expanding organizational capacity. Staff will have the space needed to train future teachers in best practices and conduct applied research.

THE POWER OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP

“I can’t even explain how happy our adult clients are when they get their paychecks. It’s absolutely incredible.”

VIA joined forces with iLab @ UVA to launch VIAble Ventures, which offers meaningful employment to adults with autism. Expanded facilities will provide an ideal environment for VIAble Ventures workers to create products, provide services, and learn professional skills.

— JESSICA DOUCETTE, Director of Education Services

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BUILDING THE BRIDGE TO ADULTHOOD


THE RIPPLE EFFECT CENTER FOR ADOLESCENT AND ADULT AUTISM SERVICES

The new facility will allow VIA to serve more students, clients, and families. This expansion not only benefits older clients with autism, but also creates significant opportunity for improvements throughout the entire organization.

OUTPATIENT BEHAVORIAL SERVICES CENTER

Because of space constraints, VIA currently has more than 100 hours per week of unmet outpatient services needs. Relocating Adult Services to CAAAS will allow our Outpatient Center to expand to significantly alleviate this services gap.

JAMES C. HORMEL SCHOOL

Already at full capacity, the school has a waiting list of young students who have nowhere else to turn for help. CAAAS will accommodate more teenage learners, and open up more space for younger students at the James C. Hormel School.

In the Middle of It All The new facility’s ripple effect also extends into the surrounding community. Its central location is on a single bus route that connects us to UVA, downtown, walking trails, neighborhoods, restaurants, and movie theaters.

www.viacenters.org

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Please join us in building a richer, more autism-friendly world. VIA Board Members Molly McShane, Chair Chris Little, Vice Chair Jeff Coppola, Secretary Bob Johnson, Treasurer Barbara Rainville, Immediate Past Chair John J. Battiston, Nominations & Governance Chair David Rathburn, Advancement Chair Caruso Brown Jason Cockerill C. Milton Dunlap, III David C. Gordon Matt Hegemier Dick Lavine Kelly Potter Rich D. Stevenson Jeff A. Thomas John Will Bernard C. Webb Ethan Long, VIA President

Campaign Steering Committee Ambassador James C. Hormel, Honorary Chair Pam Edmonds Carl Frischkorn Kelley MacDougall David Rathburn, VIA Board Liaison Gary Taylor Alison Webb Bernard C. Webb

434.923.8252 www.viacenters.org Administrative offices:

943 Glenwood Station Lane Suite 201 Charlottesville, VA 22901