Passport to Independence
In the pioneering spirit of the families who founded Becoming Independent, we are proud to offer a specialized program created to better meet the immediate needs of our region’s rapidly expanding population of young adults with autism and autism-like characteristics. Recognition of the need to develop services for adults with autism, the largest growing developmental disability in our nation and region, is reflected by the scope of donors that provided a total of $550,000 in start-up funds. Curriculum development, facility design, acquisition of evidence-based instructional tools, and the creation of a new wing at our Santa Rosa campus was made possible thanks to the following partners: The Ernest L. and Ruth W. Finley Foundation, the John Jordan Foundation, the Flat Tire Club, Celebrate Community Partnership, Dome Construction, BlackRock, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, and Community Foundation Sonoma County, Healdsburg Area.
For the development of the “Passport to Independence” curriculum, we partnered with Patricia O’Connor, founder of Transition to Life in Canada, one of two promising practices in North America that serve adults with autism. Passport to Independence provides customized and person centered training and education to adults on the autism spectrum to facilitate acquisition, retention and improvement of skills needed to be active members of the community. Individuals accepted into this program will benefit from established goals, direct teaching, hands-on activities, real life application, and homework in order to improve understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and self-care. This customized educational approach seeks to assist individuals to improve life skills, health, education, social interactions, community connectivity, and employment outcomes. We’re actively seeking individuals who are motivated to participate in this pioneering new program.