The Autism Society, the nation’s leading advocacy organization for individuals with autism and their families, affirms that individuals with autism deserve to live, learn, work, play, socialize and worship in the setting and manner of their choosing. We support the independence and community integration of individuals with autism at the level that is comfortable for them. A “one size fits all” model does not meet the broad range of needs and desires of individuals with autism. Rather, a diverse range of housing and support options are needed. We encourage federal, state and local governments to develop and expand housing and service options that meet the needs of all individuals with autism. Individuals with autism, in conjunction with their families when necessary, must determine for themselves what constitutes “home” and “community” and ensure that they are not denied the right to choose where they live, with whom they live, and how they live.
The Autism Society looks forward to supporting the expansion of community living under the following framework of principles:
• Individuals with autism have the right to exercise autonomy in all aspects of their lives at the level they are capable of doing so.
• Children and adults with autism, in conjunction with their families when appropriate, have the right to choose the services and supports that work best for them, as well as the right to choose providers of those services.
• Individuals with autism have the right to live in a home of their own, with a full range of supports as needed.
• Individuals with autism have the right to live, participate and fully integrate into the community, with access to services and supports as needed.
• Low-income individuals with autism have the right to access affordable housing and federal assistance in communities in which they choose to live.
• Individuals who do not qualify for public benefits due to income have the right to receive service coordination for self-funded services, using providers who have experience and training with autism.
Adopted by the Autism Society Board of Directors, 7/12/2017