Today, Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, is announcing the winners of their $150,000 House to Home Prize. Over 250 competitors from 63 countries participated in the challenge, which was to come up with novel, comprehensive solutions to provide better housing and residential support services for adults with autism.
People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face many unique challenges, and so they have unique needs that can vary quite a bit. That's why the contest was broken down into three categories based on how much care a person with ASD might need:
- 24 / 7 Support
- Daily Support
- Weekly Support (a few times per week)
Here are the winners in each category, who will each receive $50,000:
CLO’s Neighborhood Network, Lenexa, Kansas
Category: 24 / 7 Support
Solution: Neighborhood Network turns a typical neighborhood into a supportive community with smart-home technology, remote monitoring and social networks of professionally trained roommates, neighbors and families who live nearby. This combination of trained staff and technology is cost-effective because it provides customized care exactly when it is needed, right in a person’s own home. Learn more here: http://www.nnks.org.
JobPath, New York City
Category: Daily Support
Solution: Changing Housing Into Community (CHIC) is a parent collaborative that is creating a community for their adult children with autism – and an app called Pieced. Because human connection – an understanding of each person’s needs and wants – was often the missing piece when these families tried to put together services and supports, they proposed creating an app. Similar to a dating app or a job-networking website, Pieced will help young adults recruit and hire staff who are sensitive to their special needs and well-matched to their talents and interests. Learn more here: www.jobpathnyc.org
First Place AZ®, Phoenix, Arizona
Category: Weekly Support
Solution: First Place, a mixed-use prototype for young adults with autism, builds life, work and social skills by integrating three components: integrated, residential units where residents live independently in a supportive environment; a Transition Academy that teaches vocational and life skills; and a leadership institute that facilitates research, informs public policy, and trains professionals and parents to help young adults with autism thrive. Residents become part of the community through jobs, continuing education, volunteer opportunities and recreation. Learn more here: www.FirstPlaceAZ.org.
About the Contest
The contest entries were judged by a panel consisting of people with autism, parents of children and adults with ASD, and thought leaders and experts in the autism field.
Each entry needed to be a set of ideas that was comprehensive, inspiring and collaborative. They were judged on how well they met the following four criteria:
- Quality of Life (40 points)
- Solves a piece of the need for housing and/or services (40 points)
- Learning (10 points)
- Implementation (10 points)
“The number, quality and diversity of House to Home Prize entries far exceeded our expectations and made the process very competitive,” said Lisa Goring, Autism Speaks executive vice president of programs and services. “We were pleased to see tremendous innovation, respect for what people with autism need and want, and the understanding that the community can play a vital role in addressing the needs of adults with autism.”
“HeroX was founded on the principle that the world’s best ideas come from non-traditional sources,” said HeroX CEO Christian Cotichini. “The Autism Speaks House to Home Prize is the perfect example of what happens when the crowd is encouraged to think creatively and find innovative solutions to real problems.”
Be on the lookout and check in on the winners to see their progress as they continue working to improve the care and support we can provide to adults with autism!