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Transition Academy

Broadening life skills. Building confidence. Experiencing success.

Moving toward independent living takes practice.

The First Place Transition Academy, operated by the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center, or SARRC, provides a structured and supportive environment to help build crucial independent living and career-readiness skills. Participants can maximize their capacity to live more independently with the comprehensive Learn4Independence® curriculum—developed for adults with autism—which guides learning for functional life skills and self-sufficiency.

Year 1

First Place–Phoenix

Participants enjoy their own private bedroom in one of four four-bedroom suites. They experience career services ranging from volunteer work and internships to community employment. Community life, building amenities/features, a midtown location with access to public transportation and Learn4Independence course work enable individuals to build their life and work skills before moving on to a more independent living environment in year 2. 

Year 2

29 Palms

Participants relocate to an off-site property developed in 2014 by the Foundation for Senior Living (FSL) in collaboration with First Place. This multigenerational housing property in Phoenix co-locates nine two-bedroom apartments for adults with autism with senior residents who do not have autism. Participants complete the Learn4Independence curriculum, continue transition planning and receive a certificate in life skills from GateWay Community College. 

Learn4Independence® Curriculum

First Place and SARRC have partnered to develop a state-of-the-art, educational transition program for 32 participants each year as they develop more independent-living skills within a supportive, connected community. Participants take part in Learn4Independence, a two-year curriculum of 32 semester-length courses (17 weeks each) taught on-site at GateWay Community College in Phoenix. They can also apply what they learn every day through community-based experiences and in their apartments, or “independent living classrooms.” Courses include:

Rent & Tuition Includes

Private Bedroom
(Shared Apartment)

Appliances & Utilities

Learn4Independence Courses

Clinical Services

Employment Services

Join Us for a First Place Transition Academy Tour

First Place conducts tours for individuals interested in the First Place Transition Academy. Family members are also welcome. Come and learn about programs for adults with autism, acceptance criteria and more. You’ll also get the chance to experience first-hand some of “a day in the life” of our participants.