Financial and Self-Advocacy Education for Adults with Autism

The Cause

This project is to help AILA launch a series of videos for autistic adults, under the themes of financial education and independent living skills. The videos will be facilitated and designed for the unique challenges and learning styles of adults on the autistic spectrum. We are requesting funds to start with an initial two videos: one on basic finances & budgeting and the other on how to access financial, government and other supports for autistic adults. We will facilitate the instructional component by contracting instructors from organizations that already currently provide instruction to adults with disabilities such as Adaptabilities, Autism Edmonton and The Sinneave Foundation, as well as potentially partnering with banks. CIBC, for example, offers staff support to non-profits to enhance financial education for marginalized persons.
The idea for this project is based on the premise that adults on the autistic spectrum have unique barriers to accessing educational opportunities in the wider community. These adults have social and communications challenges that impedes their integration into their community and into wider society. They struggle with independently finding those opportunities and have a harder time incorporating the learning into their daily lives. Meanwhile, it is well known within the disabilities community that government supports for autistic adults drop away when they transition into adulthood.
By offering life skills and basic financial knowledge, facilitated by professional instructors, we aim to widen the opportunities for this group of adults to gain practical skills from a source that they trust and where they feel accommodated.
This project is directly related to AILA’s mission to support autistic adults in Edmonton and area in reaching their fullest autonomy and independence. Our two main mandates are to promote and facilitate skills development and training for adults on the autistic spectrum, and to build an intentional housing facility in Edmonton for autistic adults.

Who Will it Benefit?

These two videos will benefit adults on the autistic spectrum within the Edmonton area and beyond, as they will be shared via our website and social media. The videos will be used by our current membership as well as any future members who want to access them. We will also promote the videos at trade fairs and other disability and affordable housing events which we attend. We also intend to share the videos with other organizations that support marginalized people in Edmonton and the greater Alberta community. We feel that although they would be autism specific, they can be used by other groups.