ASPIE (which stands for Autistic Skills Providing Independence & Earnings) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to creating income and housing opportunities for adult artisans who have autism and other cognitive disabilities throughout the United States. Our focus is on high functioning adults with disabilities who can’t function well within mainstream job environments. We use a unique model that helps our clients generate additional income through donations for their authentic original art and craft products, while also legally protecting their right to government-provided disability benefits. We also create and arrange affordable,secure and appropriate housing for those who are able to live apart from their care-givers. By doing so, we empower our differently-abled adult clients,develop their individual potential, improve their sense of well-being, and help them thrive independently. ASPIE generates self-help, self-determined and self-sustaining business and legal solutions without waiting for or further burdening government resources.
The intent is to create a platform that can alleviate the lack of appropriate and productive job opportunities and housing options for people with disabilities who have legitimate talent and skills, and medium to high functioning capabilities. We live in a society where financial constraints are reducing the provision of social services, main-stream job opportunities for those with high functioning disabilities are very limited. affordable and appropriate housing is not available, and accommodations that would allow these individuals to live securely and maintain employment are generally not available nor understood. We believe that these conditions can be remediated to a great degree through market-based solutions, providing “self-help” and “self-determined” results, without further burdening government resources.
Focus & Approach
ASPIE will arrange for the platform including the components (hardware, software, browser, website, links to PayPal, services, etc.), the rules (standards, protocols, policies, contracts, dispute resolution, feedback system, fees, etc.) and the system architecture. All three users groups readily access this platform because doing so is more efficient than unmediated dealings in all of these activities. ASPIE could be the platform provider directly, or could be the platform sponsor using known platform providers for a fee but retaining the property rights.
ASPIE will start with a limited prototype to prove-out the concept and reduce risks. This will allow us to fine tune our concept before expanding. ASPIE will begin with a focus on high functioning autistic producers since they often have inherent ability to produce art and products with very little or no special skills training, but can’t function well within mainstream job environments. Ultimately, this can grow to a global network of producers and purchasers, empowering and providing them economic opportunities.
ASPIE won’t do certain services. There is no intent on the part of ASPIE to replicate specialized support services currently provided by those with clinical expertise. In fact, ASPIE will partner in each geographical area with existing providers of therapeutic, skills training, and rehabilitative services. ASPIE will focus on business, contract and legal mechanisms to generate earnings and housing solutions.