NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers announced today that it will host a groundbreaking ceremony for a new facility to host the Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services.

The event will take place Monday at 10 a.m. at 102 Nichol Ave. and is open to the public.

The center was established in 2016 to address the lack of services nationwide for adults on the autism spectrum.

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The center’s new home has been designed as a state-of-the-art facility with vocational and life skills teaching areas, individualized and group training rooms, a professional kitchen, recreation and common space and offices and meeting rooms with advanced computer technology, according to an announcement by the school.

The building will be a hub for program participants, faculty and staff as well as Rutgers students and neighboring residents, creating an inclusive environment where everyone can enjoy the facility’s engaging features. 

The list of guest speakers expected include Rutgers President Robert Barchi; Francine Conway, dean of the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology; Christopher Manente, executive director of the Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Service; Mel Karmazin, former CEO of Viacom, CBS and Sirius XM Radio and Zach Sanborn; a center program participant.

According to the center's website, it features a comprehensive program that is designed for adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) ages 21 and beyond with diverse support needs through a wide range of services specifically tailored to account for individual preference and ability.

The center is staffed by a highly experienced senior team and trained Rutgers students with programs that provide the support needed for all participants to fully integrate into Rutgers and the surrounding community. From vocational training to social support and clinical services, the center equips program participants with the tools they need to enhance and maintain autonomy — all while engaging students in innovative training and facilitating translational research to inform best practices going forward.

According to the website, autism is one of the fastest growing developmental disabilities in the United States. An estimated one in 59 children nationally and one in 34 in New Jersey have been an ASD diagnosis.