Dear Sir or Madam
We are contacting you in the hope that you will find our project of interest and be able to help us in our efforts towards educating a population that is very underserved, severely autistic young adults. We are in the initial stages of outreach now and feel that you may be interested in furthering our work, thus this email.
Severely autistic adults, after the age of 21, are cut off secondary school, yet they still desperately need educational services. According to the Easter Seals, there were 593 identified severely autistic young adults (ages 16-22) in Washington State as of 2009. Though community colleges offer a lot of support for special needs students, our students can’t negotiate on-campus education even with such help. They are intelligent and can greatly benefit from special learning instruction, but their autism is too severe to negotiate an on-campus experience.
For these young adults who want and need continuing education, there are few if any options. Special Extended Education is a project that is designed to bridge this gap and, like other extended learning projects, will directly benefit these clients in many crucial ways. As our mission statement says: “The goal of SEE is to create a supported empowering and appropriate individualized learning program that offers continued adult education and job training to severely autistic adults who can not be served in other educational settings.” We know the need is there and the clients are there, we just need to bring a variety of different kinds of support to the table to make this program a reality.
We are hoping you can advise us or join with us and contribute to this endeavor. In this time of severe budget cuts, our goal is to create a non-profit program that can deliver such educational services to autistic clients while also offering an opportunity for volunteers, researchers, student teachers and others who are focused on helping this population. We currently have access to 501(c)3 status under an existing non-profit and we have secured a potential classroom space that is perfect for our needs. We are currently seeking help in all areas including developing a business plan, crafting curriculum, finding assistant special education teachers and volunteers and securing funding to launch a pilot program by September 1, 2012.
If you this project interests you on any level, let’s talk! We are creating a YAHOO elist group now, if you wish to be part of it, let us know This promises to be a ground-breaking project that will address a need that many have identified in the autism community across the country. We have a chance to create a unique educational program that might make a real difference to an often forgotten population that needs our help. Help us make this a reality! We are creating a YAHOO elist group now, if you wish to be part of it, let us know.
Denny & Rebecca Sargent
206 362 7158