The First Place Transition Academy, operated by the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC), is a structured two-year program in the supportive environment of First Place–Phoenix that helps build crucial independent living and career-readiness skills. Participants can maximize their capacity to live more independently through our Learn4Independence® curriculum and individualized services designed for adults with autism.
In year 1, participants live in their own private bedroom in one of four four-bedroom suites on the first floor of First Place–Phoenix. In year 2, they relocate to a two-bedroom suite with their own private bedroom and bathroom upstairs at First Place–Phoenix as a next step toward greater independence. The program includes our Learn4Independence® life skills curriculum with 32-semester length courses.
Current annual tuition for the Transition Academy is $66,000 ($5,500/month), which includes the apartment lease, a suite of 24/7 supports and amenities, all utilities (electricity, water, cable, Wi-Fi, phone) and instruction at GateWay Community College in Phoenix, where the First Place Learn4Independence® life skills curriculum is taught. In year one, participants live at First Place–Phoenix in one of the four four-bedroom Transition Academy suites during their first year. In year two, participants relocate to a two-bedroom suite with their own private bedroom and bathroom upstairs at First Place–Phoenix as a next step toward more independent living.
The Transition Academy represents one of two residential options offered by First Place. The second option is the First Place Apartments.
A third-party payor option through AHCCCS, Arizona’s Medicaid provider, can help offset the cost of what began as a private-pay, philanthropically funded program. SARRC is a contracted vendor with UnitedHealth Community Plan, one of Arizona’s AHCCCS providers. By fall 2021, SARRC will no longer be contracted through the Arizona Dept. of Economic Security’s Division of Developmental Disabilities.
We seek counsel from the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center, operating and clinical partner for the First Place Transition Academy, which is staffed with BCBAs.
Residents may live at the First Place Apartments without being enrolled in the Transition Academy. Following the two-year Transition Academy program, graduates may also choose to remain at First Place–Phoenix and lease an apartment.