The DJF Program Initiatives for Adults On the Spectrum
The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation is the first organization in the United States with the specific mission to develop programs for adults living with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) with exemplary organizations who have expertise in running and implementing successful programs. Our goal is to fund the collaborative creation of blueprints for adult programs that guide grassroots organizations in starting and sustaining new, vital and innovative opportunities for adults living with ASD to participate in and contribute to community life.
A National Agenda Addressing the Needs of Adults Living with Autism
Since 2002, The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation has been a trailblazer in identifying and focusing on the needs and issues that affect the lives of young adults and adults challenged by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). In addition, several of our past grant awards have focused on educating the public about adults affected by ASD including DVD series, training manuals, educational booklets and resource guides. Now, more than ever, The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation mission resonates as the numbers of people on the spectrum rise to over one million Americans. Where there is need, there is opportunity, and we are proud to be at the forefront of the "adult autism movement" not only as advocates but also as an organization that is addressing this challenge in tangible ways that affect lives.
The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation
The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation (DJF) Signature Grant Programs represent a new and exciting direction in our commitment to developing programs and awarding grants to support their creation. Partnerships have been forged by DJF to create exemplary and replicable programs that address critical needs and gaps in programs, services and support systems that benefit adults living with Autism. The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation is uniquely qualified to stimulate the development and creation of a wide array of initiatives based upon our expertise and experience of over a decade as the pioneering organization in the United States of the adult Autism movement. Since 2010, DJF has launched coast-to-coast collaborations with organizations that our Board of Trustees and Advisors have identified to be among the premiere providers of specific types of programming for young adults and adults living with ASD and these initiatives are showcased as The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Signature Programs.
Each DJF Signature Grant Program addresses a targeted area of focus related to adult life. DJF works with our partner to foster the development of the program and its implementation. Several of the DJF SIGNATURE PROGRAMS are new and innovative projects to the world of ASD, and we aspire for them to open up exciting opportunities for the diverse population of adults with this challenge. Other DJF SIGNATURE PROGRAMS represent core grassroots initiatives, some that we have previously developed and supported, and in these instances we will help them to expand to serve more people. In all instances, we will work collaboratively with our partners to share how to start, implement and sustain the program in a blueprint format created by DJF that will aide grassroots organizations to start their own such programs.
OUR NEWEST DANIEL JORDAN FIDDLE FOUNDATION SIGNATURE PROGRAMS
THE NYC OVERLOAD PROJECT:
In 2014, DJF Foundation created the opportunity for young adults and adults living with Autism to record their orignial song," NYC Overload" in a professional recording studio in NYC and to get paid as professional singer/songwriters for doing so. The $13,250. grant allowed for this work opportunity and the production of a CD that will be available in early 2015. In addition, actress and Broadway star Carol Kane and members of the casts of Jersey Boys sang on the recording.
ASAN/DJF EMPOWERING AUTISTIC LEADERS MANUAL:
This three year project began in 2011 as a collaborative endeavor spearheaded by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) to create a manual that provides guidance, wisdom and practical, actionable ideas for individuals living with Autism and other challenges to advocate for themselves and affiliate with others who share their needs as they attend College and University programs. The manual includes articles written by individuals on the spectrum on an array of pertinent topics that is aimed to be distributed to students and others nationwide. One of the key goals of this groundbreaking project is to promote self-advocacy on college and university campuses as well as in the world in general as a matter of human rights for people living with Austism and other challenges.
In 2013, The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation is proud to resume its partnership with Kathy Santo, world renowned dog behaviorist, and PAWS FOR AUTISM to create this DJF Signature Program that demonstrates the therapeutic connection between animals and humans, specifically dogs, and how this bond can be used in daily life to foster the development of skills and joy in the lives of people living with Autism.
THE DANIEL JORDAN FIDDLE FOUNDATION FOUNDATION IGNITION GRANT PROGRAM AT UJA FEDERATION OF NEW YORK:
The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation and UJA Federation of New York, a network of over 100 affiliate organizations, have partnered along with the guidance and expertise of the Hillibrand Foundation to develop an ignition Grant Program that stimulates the creation of new and innovative programming that enhances the lives of adults living with Autism. The first DJF Ignition Grant (2011-2012) was awarded to the JCC of Manhattan's Adaptations Program and included four social skills groups and well as dating training so that the participants could learn the skills to support their interpersonal relationships. In 2013, a new round of proposals and a new DJF Ignition Grant will be awarded.
ON-GOING DJF SIGNATURE PROGRAM INTIATIVES
The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Peer Support Group Program at GRASP:
This is the first support group in the United States for individuals age 50+ living with Asperger Syndrome (AS). The group meets monthly throughout the year to discuss Issues that are relevant to their lives including health and wellness, aging, new Information and developments in the world of AS and how this affects their lives. The Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership (GRASP) staff and an expert facilitator run this New York City based program. The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation is committed to fostering the ongoing development of this model . The blueprint will focus on how to create and sustain a support group that addresses the needs of adults age 50+ who live with ASD.
The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Vocational/Life Skills Fund at the SARRC Vocational and Life Skills Academy:
This new program provides scholarship funding for adults living with ASD, who could not otherwise afford to do so, to partake in the vocational and life skills programs at the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC) Vocational and Life Skills Academy located in Phoenix, Arizona. The goal of this blueprint is to provide a guide for creating a scholarship fund within a program so as to enhance participation for those with limited means to access the program. Sustainability of the scholarship fund will be addressed in this blueprint.
The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Life Skills and Self Advocacy Program at the Vista Inspire Program:
This new program at Vista Inspire, a program for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) at Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services located in Los Angeles, California creates the opportunity for young adults ages 16-22 to focus on self advocacy, transition into adulthood, skill building to enhance inclusion in the community and self-esteem building through volunteerism in the community. The program participants work with peer mentors and the blueprint will focus on how to establish and sustain a life skills and self advocacy program using peer mentors.
The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Health and Wellness Program at Chapel Haven:
This newly developed study and program will take place at Chapel Haven, Inc. a renowned program for adults with ASD located in New Haven, Connecticut and Tucson, Arizona that includes transition, residential, educational and vocational programming and supports. The study will be a comprehensive research project conducted by researchers from the University of Connecticut and Chapel Haven and will examine all aspects that might affect the health and wellness of an individual on the spectrum. Areas to be focused on primarily will be: decrease in anxiety; increase in self esteem;
The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Health and Wellness Program at Chapel Haven:
This newly developed study and program will take place at Chapel Haven, Inc. a renowned program for adults with ASD located in New Haven, Connecticut and Tucson, Arizona that includes transition, residential, educational and vocational programming and supports. The study will be a comprehensive research project conducted by researchers from the University of Connecticut and Chapel Haven and will examine all aspects that might affect the health and wellness of an individual on the spectrum. Areas to be focused on primarily will be: decrease in anxiety; increase in self esteem; attainment of healthy weight; independent healthy food choices; independent choices of exercise and activity. The blueprint will focus on how to create a program that addresses the exercise and health and wellness needs of adults living with ASD.
The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Hotline and Resource Guide at J-ADD:
The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation developed this exemplary grassroots program as one of our first grants in 2002. It was our goal to pilot and develop a community based resource for families and individuals facing the challenge of Autism that would cost them nothing but would provide invaluable support in terms of one-on-one consultations backed up by extensive resources to serve their needs. This program has flourished and now supports upwards of 50 new families per year and also provides the community at large, free of charge on our website and theirs, The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation/J-ADD Resource Guide that is filled hundreds of community resources. The blueprint will focus on how to create a grassroots resource guide and hotline to serve the needs of adults living with ASD and their families.
The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Adult Autism Programs at the Ridgewood YMCA:
Two distinct recreational programs for young adults and adults living with ASD have been and implemented by The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation and the Ridgewood YMCA and are now part of the YMCA program offerings known as The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Adult Autism Programs at the Ridgewood YMCA. Danny's Red Ball Weekends provide the opportunity for families of young adults and adults living with ASD to participate in family respite weekends at the YMCA's Camp Bernie. These weekends are designed to be mini-vacations for the families where they can pursue an array of seasonal activities, socialize and relax with the support of the YMCA staff. F.I.T. Together is a peer-mentor, exercise and social program that is currently offered for adults on the spectrum to learn aerobics training as part of their healthy lifestyle. The Daniel Jordan Fiddle is committed to these ongoing programs and has established a scholarship fund at the Ridgewood YMCA to foster participation. These program blueprints will focus on how-to develop and sustain these kinds of programs.