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Global Leadership Institute Symposium

April 23 & 24, 2020

Join Us

Due to coronavirus precautions, we have called off our spring Global Leadership Institute Symposium and are offering an abbreviated, more convenient chance to gather via webinar focusing on several timely topics, including an update on A Place in the World, transitions and real-time learning, and firsthand lessons learned.
We look forward to spending some “virtual” time together to learn from and share information with members of the First Place AZ team and other advisors about strategies for public, private, nonprofit and charitable collaboration. And mark your calendars for our fall symposium, October 21–23, here in sunny Phoenix!


Thursday, April 23

9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. (PST)

A Place in the World Study

Much has happened since the publishing of the groundbreaking 2009 report, Opening Doors: A Discussion of Residential Options for Adults Living with Autism and Related Disorders, the first-ever study to focus on the housing challenges of adults with autism and other neurodiversities. A decade later, First Place AZ and the Autism Housing Network/Madison House Autism Foundation are poised to take the next critical step with a sister study to Opening Doors titled A Place in the World. This study will enable us to advance an innovative, comprehensive and practical framework for various inclusive, supportive housing models.

Join Denise D. ResnikDesiree Kameka, Autism Housing Network Director and Coalition for Community Choice National Coordinator, and ASU Morrison Institute for Public Policy’s Director Andrea Whitsett and Research Analyst Chrissie Bausch for an informative session to learn more about A Place in the World. Scheduled for a fall 2020 release, the report will provide the foundational nomenclature for housing and service delivery models that further define market segments, establish best practices and guiding principles, and help drive crucial partnerships that address pressing needs resulting from the current housing crisis.

Friday, April 24

9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. (PST)

Transitions and Real-Time Learning

At the residential First Place Transition Academy, we utilize a structured curriculum and targeted support for real-time learning, a combination critical for student success. The Learn4Independence® curriculum’s 32 courses provide the structure for learning, while the daily application led by our sister nonprofit, the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC), helps students build crucial independent living and career-readiness skills. Outcomes include 94% employment at graduation and 88% living in their community of choice, including with roommates or on their own.

Join Marci Muhlestein, First Place Director of the Global Leadership Institute Center for Education, Training & Employment and Managing Director of the First Place Transition Academy, and Paige Raetz, Director of Teen and Adult Services for SARRC, to learn more about Transition Academy operations and the comprehensive Learn4Independence curriculum, including licensing and implementation.

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. (PST)

Firsthand Lessons Learned: Implementing the Vision for First Place–Phoenix

Denise D. Resnik shares a wealth of knowledge and experience on the following topics:

  • Beyond the Real Estate  Building community within the property and beyond
  • Celebrating Diversity  Creating a culture and an operational plan that support individual needs
  • Becoming Lifelong Learners What we’re learning alongside our residents

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (PST)

Virtual Breakout Sessions

Choose one of the following discussions:

  • Transitions and Real-Time Learning
  • Lessons Learned

Speaker Bios

A Place in the world.

Light Rail Transition Academy First Place–Phoenix
Wellness Wednesday - First Place–Phoenix
Night to Shine Prom 2020
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Webinar Registration