Jordan DeBrine MA, BCBA, Melissa Wintz-Dykstra MS, & Lisa Kalberg MA, LPCC
The University of New Mexico’s Center for Development and Disability strives to support full belonging of people with disabilities and their families in their community. One of the CDD’s core values is partnership and collaboration that encourages capacity building within communities. So often, providers focus on how to teach individuals with disabilities the skills they will need in order to be included. A new project that we have been working on seeks to work with community organizations around the state in becoming more aware of diverse abilities, and more accessible for all individuals in our communities.
What is the Autism Plus Program?
Autism Plus is dedicated to making our communities more accessible for individuals with autism plus other disabilities. Through the Autism Plus Program, we strive to ensure community organizations obtain training and support to promote belonging and meaningful engagement of individuals with disabilities. Our training model is designed to empower staff members and stakeholders to confidently implement inclusive practices long after consultation.
Why make your organization accessible?
Making your business accessible to people with autism plus other disabilities will distinguish your organization as one that values and accepts individuals with different strengths and needs. You and your staff members will gain the skills to optimize your environment in a way that encourages active participation for people with all types of abilities in your place of business.
How does this process work?
Trained consultants visit your place of business and provide individualized training specific to your environment and aligned with your mission. This often includes:
- Autism awareness training for staff
- Behavior management training specific to environmental needs
- Supplemental visuals and supports individualized for your business
- Continued consultation with ultimate goal of self-sufficiency
Who is eligible to partake in the Autism Plus Program?
Anyone! The Autism Plus Program is completely free. We welcome any business that has interest in creating a more inclusive space for their community.