Impacting education, business, housing, healthcare and public policy.
Developed by distinguished leaders in this highly specialized field, the Leadership Institute is focused on pressing concerns for accessibility to more community, housing and independent living options for individuals with autism and other neurodiversities. It serves as a multidisciplinary, hands-on training center for professionals, educators, support staff and medical personnel, as well as a robust site for research and advancements in public policy.
“Handicapped,” dependency mindset
Limited options, high cost/demand, dwindling government resources
Scarcity of proven outcomes, replicable programs and private capital
Low wages, limited training, high turnover
Dated; limited innovation and integration
Need for large-scale initiatives defining best practices
Too few practitioners on the cutting edge of autism servicing/supporting patients
Too varied and ever-changing; need for leveraging and maximizing
Broad range of diversity; lack of segmentation
The Leadership Institute hosts semiannual symposiums (spring and fall), attracting pioneers in a variety of fields from across the country and around the world. Attendees gather to share ideas for advancing a new wave of home and community solutions through replicable, sustainable models and public, private, nonprofit and philanthropic collaboration.
We’re offering a series of three workshops focused on relevant, timely topics. Attendance is limited, so please register at your earliest convenience. Only $59 each or $149 for all three
Featuring Denise D. Resnik, Founder and President/CEO of First Place AZ; Co-Founder of SARRC, the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center.
Denise shares tips and strategies for creating authentic, inclusive communities and building content for stories that inspire and engage. Learn how to identify allies, cultivate mutually beneficial relationships, develop partnerships and create a connected community as you create a plan by tapping into resources that support your vision. During the workshop, you can start building your asset inventory and mapping community connections or add to your work already underway.
For added insight before the workshop, read Denise’s blog about lessons learned and a recent opinion column outlining how the work of First Place is focused on brighter futures for adults with autism and other neurodiversities.
Featuring Brad Herron-Valenzuela, Managing Director of the First Place Transition Academy, and Paige Raetz, PhD, BCBA-D, Director of Teen and Adult Services for the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center.
Respond to today’s ever-increasing demand in your community and region. With an estimated 60,000 individuals with autism transitioning into adulthood each year, proven programming is essential for successful independent living.
Learn how the residential First Place Transition Academy utilizes a structured curriculum, Learn4Independence®, and targeted support for real-time learning—a critical combination for students’ long-term success. The team will share daily applications of classroom learning and how they help students build crucial independent living and career-readiness skills.
Explore how lessons are applied at home and in the community through real-time learning along with components of our comprehensive transition program toolkit that can help jumpstart your program.
Featuring Denise D. Resnik, Founder and President/CEO of First Place AZ; Co-Founder of SARRC, the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center; Founder and CEO of DRA Collective.
Explore traditional and nontraditional strategies for reaching your many audiences, including future residents, families and referral sources. As a marketing and communications professional for nearly 40 years, Denise shares insights and counsel on campaign strategies that can connect you to community and financial resources, including charitable donors. Topics include developing your brand, understanding your audience(s), defining community development, creating a results-oriented communications plan—and more!
For added insight before the workshop, read the recent article on the local news site azcentral.com about progress made and the challenges ahead.
Various levels of consulting are also offered by the Leadership Institute, with an emphasis on sharing expertise and lessons learned. Combined with the toolkits, this service offers effective strategies for saving time and money.
As a resource to organizations committed to serving special populations and their families, the Leadership Institute has developed a variety of toolkits addressing specific areas to meet an organization’s needs— throughout specific or all stages of the project.
Under the auspices of the Leadership Institute and in partnership with Arizona State University’s Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, the First Place Doctoral Fellowship focuses on an applied approach to research, assessment and intervention, family support, service coordination, community integration, community development and public policy. Fellowships aim to develop leaders in the fields of education, training, research and services for adults age 18 and older with autism and other neurodiversities.