Project Description

Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism (AFAA) is a consortium of national, regional and local autism organizations co-founded by NEXT for AUTISM and Autism Speaks to set national priorities, transform public policy and create programming for adolescents and adults with autism.

When it was founded in 2008, AFAA was among the first, organized efforts to focus attention on the fast-growing population of adults with autism. NEXT for AUTISM led this consortium to determine the scope of need and to develop quality, coordinated and comprehensive services. AFAA has been the catalyst for national discussions about how to realize meaningful futures for adults with autism that include homes, jobs, recreation, friends and supportive communities. AFAA has led NEXT for AUTISM to launch a number of programs for adults in the areas of employment training and community living.

Program Innovations

  • Gathered nationally recognized autism and non-autism experts, who identified state-of- the-art residential supports, vocational, community and transition models, and innovative improvements to existing services
  • Explored new solutions to national and state-specific challenges, and resources beyond the government sector
  • Electronically linked 1,000 members of key stakeholder groups from across the country to form a national list of priorities, challenges, innovations, and best practices
  • Held an Autism Congress in Washington, D.C. attended by autism advocates, policy experts, lobbyists, elected officials, university professors and researchers to implement a plan that would provide cost-effective, evidence-based solutions for a national agenda

Program Impact

  • Created and drove public policy changes to enable adults with autism to become participating members of their communities
  • Led national dialogue to increase awareness of the challenges and opportunities for adults with autism
  • Created an information portal that provided research, programs and services for adults with autism and their families
  • Acted as the catalyst for strategies and efforts to improve the quality of services and supports


Estimated number of people with autism who will become adults in the next decade



Of adults who live at home do not receive professional in-home supports

Leadership Council


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