The mission of Autism Unites, Inc. (d.b.a. The First Guild) is to create and promote sustainable jobs based on collaboration of individuals with and without autism using the model called Match-A-Friend. This model is aimed to create sustainable and enjoyable jobs not only for young adults with autism, but for youth from all walks of life.
The model Match-A-Friend developed after we saw first-hand the genuine connection between a young adult with autism, Adam, and his friend/caregiver, Cole, and how profoundly it affected the life of both.
Following this, our organization developed a series of workshops based on Match-A-Friend. We matched young adults with and without autism, teaching them to connect through dance. Our 2012 workshops were featured in the award-winning documentary film “Through the Heart of Tango” which we did in collaboration with Joey Travolta’s Inclusion Films. See our history page.
After watching the incredible results of Match-A-Friend connections, we realized that this model is a key to creating sustainable and enjoyable jobs not only for young adults with autism, but for youth from all walks of life.
Our goal is to introduce a new way to see the broad spectrum of disconnection with which people suffer, including autism, on a visual and tangible level through FILM. Our goal is to focus on healthy identity formation through innovative films and educational programs.
Our organization received 501 c3 status in January 2008 under the name of Dance Into Unity, Inc. The main purpose of the charity was to raise autism awareness through visible dance productions. We were able to reach thousands of people through the performing arts at various theatre venues in Los Angeles.
We changed the name of our organization to Autism Unites, Inc. in 2014, and in 2016 we added d.b.a. The First Guild. See our activities pertaining to this subject at https://thefirstguild.com/