IMPACT Innovation (IMPACT)

A program aimed at young adults with autism and significant needs, Impact Innovation was recently created in response to a call from the state and federal governments to increase community integrated employability and job opportunities. Funded by Impact Autism at $400,000 over five years, the on-going program focuses on employment, health/wellness, and lifelong learning.

Participants work every day within the community or in new on-campus ventures such as ATS DeliverEats, Brewhaus Dog Bones, Champion Windows, and Lollipop Labels.

A state-waiver funded program, IMPACT is open to adults aged 22 and over with a high-school diploma. Once enrolled, students may remain until they no longer require the services.

For more information, contact:
Carla Schmidt

“When I first heard something was being developed at UC to specifically meet the needs of young adults with autism and significant communication and behavioral challenges, I was cautiously optimistic. Now, I am genuinely excited about IMPACT Innovation."

“As Employment First initiatives have been unveiled around the region, I have heard so many parents say, ‘That’s great, but it’ll never work for my kid.’ They are not just being naysayers and pessimists. These parents know – from experience - what it takes for their children to be successful, and what can happen if behavioral and communication supports are lacking."

“IMPACT Innovation is designed for people with autism and staffed by people who understand autism. This is essential because research shows that our current systems are failing this group. The commitment that the IMPACT Innovation team has to this project and the time and energy that have already gone into making it the best it can be are truly amazing."

“They have searched across the country for the best ideas and practices and carefully adapted them to fit the UC campus. As the name implies, this is something new, more than a program, more than a service or community-employment opportunity.  This is a new approach to providing young adults who have skills that have been overshadowed by their challenges, the supports, the environment and the time they need to become successfully and meaningfully employed."

“As a beginning, it is a true bright spot on an otherwise pretty bleak landscape of opportunities for students with autism and significant behavior and communications challenges who are exiting the education system.”

– Dr. Cindy Molloy
Impact Innovation Advisory Board Member
Parent of adult with autism spectrum disorder

We want to ensure applicants have the best possible experience in IMPACT Innovation. With this in mind, we've created a guide to help determine the eligibility of individuals to participate in the program. Download the guide (DOC).