The Autistic Global Initiative (AGI), a program of ARI, is comprised of a committee of adults diagnosed with autism spectrum conditions. Our members hail from all regions of the United States, representing the broad life span of autistic experience and expression. We are active as professionals and consultants in many fields within the autism community, including education, social work, medicine, employment, fitness and wellness, rehabilitation counseling and the visual and graphic arts.
A Growing Demand for Adult Services.
Currently in the United States, there are 1.5 million individuals with autism spectrum conditions, 80% of whom are under the age of 22. As these young people with autism age into the adult years, existing programs and services will be overwhelmed. Families, professionals and individuals with autism face significant challenges in the upcoming decade as our community anticipates an exponential rise in the need for adult programs, living options, and employment across the spectrum. AGI members feel that solutions to some of these challenges can be found within the adult autistic community itself. By designing and directing initiatives specific to adult concerns and to those who provide support to adults, the Autistic Global Initiative aims to be a part of the solution to the demand that lies before us.
To be an agent for assumption-free inclusion of people with autism, providing advisory and consulting services to the Autism Research Institute and other organizations both nationally and globally
AGIís Vision Statement.
As people with autism, we balance the work of reaching out for our own needs with the work of educating others, thereby expanding awareness about adult concerns. This work builds bridges among service providers, families and individuals within the autism community. We embrace the diverse perspectives of one another, while incorporating participation across varied modes of expression. In this way, the Autistic Global Initiative serves as a model of the inclusion for which we advocate.
Valerie Paradiz, PhD
Director, Autistic Global Initiative