Match-A-Friend Movement

“THROUGH THE HEART OF TANGO” (2012-2013)
Workshops & Documentary

During 2012-2013,  Autism Unites developed a series of workshops. “Through the Heart of Tango” matched young adults with special needs to neurotypical young adults.  The participants experienced the Art of Connection using dance as a means to connect based on Match-A-Friend Principles.  These workshops were filmed by Joey Travolta’ s Inclusion Films.

Video above: Trailer for the Autism Unites  documentary, “Through the Heart of Tango (2012).”

“BEAUTIFUL” (2012-2013)
Workshops & Documentary
 

poster-18inx24in-h-frontAutism Unites filmed the documentary, “Beautiful,” where, again, a group of young adults, with and without autism, were paired as friends. Together, they learned the essential elements of the Art of Connection through Ballet.  A screening of these workshops took place during Autism Awareness month, on April 26-27, 2013, at The Miles Memorial Playhouse in Santa Monica, California.

Video above: Match-A-Friend workshop, “Beautiful” (April 2013)

In every workshop, Autism Unites witnessed a miracle between all the participants.  The entire group experienced an array of positive emotions with increased energy, attention span, and alertness.

ANNOUNCING MATCH-A-FRIEND VOCATIONAL MODEL (2/28/2014)

Autism Unites realized that the unique and innovative Match-A-Friend model of community integration is the key to creating sustainable jobs for young adults with autism. .

At the February 28, 2014 fundraiser, Autism Unites inspired it’s community to fund programming, using the Art of Connection through it’s model of Match-A Friend, thereby developing this holistic approach to living.

Video above: Match-A-Friend – the Power of Positive Connections.

The short video above: 1) Susan Osborne, Autism Unites’ Executive Director and student, Steven Mohan, a young adult with autism, share their vision for the future.  2) Participants of “Beautiful” (2013) Arman Khodae, a young adult with autism and the founder of, “Empower Autism Now,” with Valeria Veluka (a neurotypical young adult)  sharing their experience.

DEVELOPING MATCH-A-FRIEND VOCATIONAL PROJECTS  (2014-Present)

There is a dire need for services to help young adults with autism integrate into their communities.  According to current research, adults on the autism spectrum have the highest rate of unemployment of any disability category.   Some studies report that over 90% of all adults on the spectrum are unemployed or under-employed, regardless of the services and supports they have received throughout their lifetimes. The ultimate goal of Autism Unites is to reverse this trend and ultimately create all-inclusive, self-sustainable communities, which empower all citizens.

Autism Unites’ goal is to create a sustainable job for a young adult no matter how impacted by autism he/she is.  By engaging with parents, employers, colleges, professionals, government organizations and the community we create a sustainable, supportive vocational environment. Presently Autism Unites is developing two vocational projects: 1) Walking tour of Culver City and 2) Santa Ynez Academy of Arts and Sciences, in Solvang, CA.

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