ACAA Response to NCD Statement on Farmstead Models

Please read the following letter from ACAA cofounders Gene Bensinger and Vicki Obee to HUD.  This letter is a time sensitive response to a recommendation to HUD from the National Council on Disability (NCD), a federal agency, which HUD apparently did not solicit.  It isn’t a formal comment on any HUD proposal.  The purpose of our letter is to offset a terrible policy initiative from the NCD, and hopefully stimulate some future dialogue with HUD (and perhaps the NCD).

Contact Gene (genebensinger@gmail.com) or Vicki (vobee@bittersweetfarms.org) with comments or concerns.

ACAA HUD (Final)

Mission

Agricultural Communities for Adults with Autism (ACAA) is a consortium of existing and in-formation organizations focused on sharing best practices and advocating for holistic, agricultural based employment and housing models for adults with autism.

Introduction

Our consortium was created to provide information to adults with autism, their families, academics, professionals, legislators, policy makers and others and as a portal to link to our member’s sites and other relevant resources. We want to educate people about the common characteristics and differences in agricultural communities in the United States. Our website also exists to dispel the incorrect notion that agricultural communities are institutional, segregated congregate care models when, in fact, our members, residents, and day program participants are strongly woven into the fabric of their respective communities. We are non-urban, low density community based integrated models.

Agricultural communities are a terrific option for adults with autism in our community who prefer the choice of a non-urban, community based, active lifestyle that typically combines a variety of rewarding employment opportunities with quality, affordable housing and a wealth of activities in their local communities.

All of our communities report no openings and long waiting lists. Turnover is rare because we offer lifespan models. We are contacted daily by people from all over the world who want to have the choice of an agricultural model like one of ours. We give dozens of tours a year to interested adults and their families. We think the only way they will be able to access an agricultural model is to come together with others to create a model in their own area.

Creating a community is difficult but not impossible. Some of us are in formation but many have already created communities. Some have been in place for decades so the models are “time-tested” and successful.

Articles

Articles of Interest to Agricultural Communities

Resources

Community

Contact Us

We’d love to hear from you! Send inquiries to Vicki Obee, executive director of Bittersweet, Inc. (vobee@bittersweetfarms.org).

ACAA Partners

Map of Sites


View ACAA Members in a larger map