First Place AZ hosted a Global Leadership Institute Symposium Oct. 25-27, 2017 to provide service providers, developers, educators and families with information on building a supportive community, to include fundraising and collaborative strategies with public, private, philanthropic and nonprofit interests.
Participants from 12 states attended the symposium. Participants experienced the First Place Transition Academy, which teaches independent living skills to adults with autism; the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center; GateWay Community College; and other locations within Phoenix’s supportive community, dubbed “the most autism-friendly city in the world” by PBS NewsHour.
The two-day symposium featured a workshop on health and wellness led by Javier Cardenas, M.D., Adult Autism & Developmental Disability Multi-Speciality Clinic at Barrow Neurological Institute; life skills development and independent living by Paige Raetz, Ph.D., BCBA-D, SARRC Residential Transition Director; and leveraging community assets by George Braddock, president of Creative Housing Solutions and faculty member of the First Place Global Leadership Institute.
John Donvan and Caren Zucker, award-winning journalists and authors of Pulitzer Prize finalist, In a Different Key – The Story of Autism, moderated a workshop on safety and security. Buckeye Police Chief Larry Hall participated in the discussion with Emily Iland, producer of Be Safe the Movie, along with First Place Transition Academy participants.
Photo credit: Sydnee Schwartz, ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication student