Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Launches Endowments to Leading Universities

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Launches Endowments to Leading Universities

Article excerpt

The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation (DJFF), the nation's first not-for-profit organization to exclusively focus on adult autism, announced two new groundbreaking endowment funds, adding to DJFF's existing endowed program initiatives at Yale University and the University of Miami.

With gifts of $100,000 each to Brown University and Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, the newest DJFF endowed programs continue to expand the Foundation's mission for a global focus on adult autism. Designed to increase awareness, opportunities, and knowledge about aging and autism, each of the four DJFF endowed programs serve a specific area relating to adult autism: research, program development, fostering creativity and expression through the arts, and counseling and resources for family members of adults on the spectrum.

Founded in 2002 by Linda J. Walder, a pioneer in the adult autism arena, The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation has blazed trails to develop, fund, and advocate for programs and public policy related to all aspects of adult life such as job training, residential living, the arts, recreation, health and wellness, and socialization. DJFF is named in honor of Linda's son Danny who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and passed away at age nine.

The DJFF endowed program funds are opening new doors with the establishment of in perpetuity adult-autism-focused collaborations with the nation's leading researchers and practitioners at renowned universities. They are poised to lead and address critical issues in adult autism and will advance the creation of new research and model programs to expand opportunities for the diverse adult autistic population.

Says Linda Walder: "Our aim is to ensure that for generations to come there will be an impactful focus on adult autism. Today more than 3.5 million Americans live with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, and we need to do more to understand adult autism and to create as many paths as we can for adults to participate in and contribute to community life. It is a matter of human rights for all autistic adults to be accepted for who they are and to live the fullest lives possible."

On September 7, 2016, The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Adult Autism Family Support Fellowship and Resource Guide Fund was established at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, School of Social Work (SSW). …

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