The FIU Embrace initiative was developed to promote health, wellness, and overall functioning for adults with developmental disabilities. We seek to help persons with these challenges lead healthy lives and maximize their individual potential across their lifespan. The program embraces a person-focused, household-centric approach recognizing that people with developmental disabilities deserve to be treated as individuals with personal patterns of talents and challenges, and will address the broad array of challenges that persons with developmental disabilities encounter. Like their typical non-affected peers, adults with developmental disorders should have access to integrated medical care, be involved in post-secondary education activities, become employed in income-producing work, engage in community-based social activities, and establish residences independent of their parents.
Children with developmental disabilities (DD), such as autism (ASD), intellectual disability (ID), and other neurodevelopmental disabilities grow up to become adults with developmental disabilities, with estimates that over the next decade some 500,000 such individuals will come of age in the United States. Stress and depression among caregivers is well recognized. Therefore, in order to address the scope of challenges facing our young adults and their families, FIU is utilizing a multi-faceted approach. As a result, the University’s activities can be characterized into three areas: services, education and dissemination, and research and design.
In addition, FIU Embrace receives guidance and council from a broad range of internal and external family members, experts in their field and stakeholders to ensure that the initiative remains mission-centric.