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Bridge to Safety

Award Information

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $750,000)

ABSTRACT: The Autism Society of America (ASA) is preparing to lead a National effort to prevent water and wandering related deaths through proactive programming aimed at increasing public awareness, education, and policy to improve public safety. In collaboration with The Arc’s National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability (NCCJD) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), ASA will launch its program, Building Bridges to support Kevin & Avonte (K&A) site-based grantees. Together with its Safety Task Force, Panel of Professional Advisors, Council of Autistic Advisors, and Affiliate Network, the Building Bridges coalition will provide TTA and launch a comprehensive public awareness campaign to develop and promote best practice models for preventative programs. Building Bridges will support first responders to implement best-practice models, use least-restrictive methods, implement respectful and secure notification and communication systems, create consistent recovery protocols, thoughtfully utilize locative technologies and other technological enhancements, and revise response policies to ensure the highest levels of safety for all. In addition to guidance and coaching for K&A grantees and leaders in public health, law enforcement, and disability communities, ASA will continue its programmatic efforts and utilize digital marketing strategies to launch a powerful public education campaign, disseminating resources that support public safety for those with Autism and other developmental disabilities through the massive Building Bridges combined network. Fueled by local-level action, this campaign has the ability to extend far beyond the target audience of Autism, Disability, and Law Enforcement communities to connect to individuals, families, schools, service providers, and community-serving organizations. Building Bridges will empower cross-systems collaboration to create connections to build trust and achieve safety in communities large and small. The outcomes of this collaborative will go beyond reinforcing best practices and providing training to hometown heroes and the communities they serve. By aligning trusted messengers through interagency collaboration that centers community, Building Bridges has the power to reframe mental models, underpinning behavioral and structural shifts necessary to protect our most vulnerable.
PRIORITY CONSIDERATION: ASA requests priority consideration under Priority 1A for federal funding in the amount of $750,000 to support K&A grantees in a National effort to improve public safety and prevent water and wandering related deaths in the disability community. Additional information about prioritization and the need for training and technical assistance to support proactive programming using person-centered, evidence-based, and least-restrictive approaches can be found starting on page 3 of the proposal narrative.

Date Created: September 29, 2022