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Adults with Autism

Adults with Autism

As a college instructor, I have the honor of teaching students from all over the world, and sometimes through my connections, can become privy to some of my studentís personal challenges, as is the case with a new student of mine that shared her plight as the parent of an autistic child. She also lauded the efforts of a non-profit organization known as The New Jersey Center for outreach and Service for the Autism Community {COSAC}.

After 40 years as one of the most supportive resources for advocacy to the autism community, COSAC is comprised of over 2,000 members.
I was surprised to learn that autism has become recognized as ďthe largest growing disabilityĒ in the nation.
Currently, there are 50,000 individuals in the State of New Jersey afflicted by Autism. One of the areas of concern has been the large number of unemployed autistic adults who are struggling to survive economically and by and large depend on government assistance to do so.
Several months ago, COSAC created the Adult Resource Initiative in an attempt to address these special concerns facing autistic adults. Through my conversation with Hope Arvanitis, COSACís Director of Communications and Marketing, I began to learn about the myriad of issues confronting the adult autism community and COSACís proposal to help relieve the crisis.
Compared to adults with disabilities in general who demonstrate a 75% unemployment rate, autistic adults demonstrate a 90% unemployment.
In an effort to effect some improvements, COSACís Adult Resource Initiative purports to assist county and local agencies become more responsive to the concerns of autistic adults, and also function as advocates to create progressive solutions over the long-term, particularly in the workforce.
It is envisioned that potential employers working in tandem with COSAC, or other autism advocacy groups and experts can adopt viable ways to offer gainful employment to autistic adults, thereby alleviating the high unemployment rate among them.
I plan to explore this topic in depth on July 28th when COSACís Executive Director will be my guest on Giving Hearts Live, my radio broadcast from 4-4:30 PM Eastern Time on Passionate Internet Voices:
Please join us! Call-ins are welcome.

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