Inclusive Community

“The RCAAS academic program and hands-on training will offer specialized learning and future career opportunities to our undergraduate and graduate students at the School of Social Work.  The School of Social Work is strongly committed to supporting the RCAAS where our students can make significant contributions to the residents’ recreational, social, and vocational lives.”

Cathryn C. Potter, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Social Work

The Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services will make an independent and fulfilling lifestyle attainable for adults with ASD by providing assistance and support in all aspects of participants’ lives, from vocational and recreational support to life skills development. Rutgers has transportation, recreation, and places to work. And it also had a vast breadth and depth of autism experience that can be employed to create this new, community-inclusive model that is unlike anything that currently exists to serve adults with ASD.

Under the guidance of a dedicated executive director and an experienced professional staff, the center will leverage university resources to work hand in hand with local agencies and communities. 

The Workday Program... 

will benefit from a new building on the picturesque Douglass Campus in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The program will be housed in a new building that will serve as a meeting point and include staff offices, professional kitchen equipment, state-of-the-art computers and other technology, and dedicated life skills teaching areas.   The Workday Program will ultimately provide 50 to 60 adults with ASD, ages 21 to 60, with meaningful vocational experiences at Rutgers. This top-quality, highly customized support program will be funded by New Jersey’s Department of Developmental Disabilities and supplemented with fundraising. It will run Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

The Pilot Residential Program...

will be located in a second new integrated building, also on the Douglass Campus, with the goal of accommodating 20 adults with ASD, ages 21 – 60, and 20 Rutgers graduate students living side by side. The residential program participants will live and work as independently as possible in the university community.  The building will consist of one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom residences, each equipped with its own kitchen as well as its own dining, living, and laundry rooms.  With the customized support of clinicians, professional staff, and trained students, program participants will enjoy a lifestyle that is individualized according to their own preferences, comfort, and fulfillment.  Services for the Pilot Residential Program will be funded by annual participant tuition.  These services will be provided as needed around the clock, including overnight and on weekends. After demonstrating the success of this model, Rutgers aims to help others develop similar programs.

The Center’s program participants will have access to the amenities currently enjoyed by students and other members of the Rutgers community, including the expansive bus system, eateries, and recreational facilities. The center’s buildings will be within a five minute walking distance of campus hubs like the Douglass Campus Center and from a main Rutgers bus stop