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In 1997, YAP advocates were celebrating decades of success in helping young people whose needs challenged existing service systems. These advocates had created a nationally-acclaimed model to support children and youth labeled “at risk” in their homes and communities, preventing the downward spiral of low expectations that occurs in typical congregate, segregated placements. Who else, they asked, needs new and better community-based support in order to thrive? And they quickly found the answer: kids with autism! With that realization, and a small group of children in central Pennsylvania, YAP’s mission to people on the autism spectrum began.
That mission now extends to adults and to individuals with other developmental disabilities, and has found a home in many states. YAP provides supports coordination and direct services across the lifespan, from early intervention to behavioral health/wraparound, to respite care, education services, and transition and adult services based on the discovery process and leading to real jobs through innovations such as customized employment. For fact sheets on these and other services, click here.
Equally important to YAP are its training, education, and consultation capabilities, which respond to the need to inform all stakeholders of best practices, raise up the voices of people with autism and other developmental differences and their families, and create disability-friendly communities. YAP’s highly-rated live trainings and webinars have been enjoyed by school districts, parent groups, service providers, agency staff, and attendees at a wide variety of national and local conferences (For our current list of available trainings, click here).
YAP is fortunate to have a diverse and passionate team of staff, consultants and self-advocates that shape, monitor, and improve our work to support individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Our national leadership team is comprised of the individuals below:
Jessica Carlton-Humenik, Vice President, Developmental Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders
Pat Amos, Consultant, Parent-Advocate, Advisory Board Member (YAP Policy and Advocacy Center)
Lori Burrus, Developmental Disabilities Director
Ann Branning, National Autism Training Coordinator