The desire to make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities began for A Little Compassion’s founder, Jane Moen, back in high school as a special education classroom volunteer. Jane went on to become a rehabilitation counselor yet it was when the Moen’s own daughter was diagnosed with autism that the dream to change lives became a real need. Despite their daughter’s many gifts, they found themselves fumbling through the educational system without a solid plan for her future.
Things changed dramatically when their daughter landed a job in a small bakery where she quickly became an indispensable, much-loved employee. When the bakery closed and a series of unsuccessful jobs followed, it became clear that the bakery had created a very special and seldom found culture—one of acceptance and inclusion imperative to the success of a young adult with a disability.
Young adults with autism (ASD) and intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) face daunting barriers in finding and keeping meaningful work as well as in becoming active members of their community. Having the opportunity to learn to work in an environment that fosters growth is something the majority of young adults with disabilities never have.
80-90% of individuals with ASD or IDD are unemployed. In the next decade, over 500,000 young adults with ASD will age out of high school and its supportive services into adulthood without a safety net.
In early 2018 a group began gathering to address these critical employment and social needs of young adults with disabilities. Just 6 months later, with a generous donation by Mr. Steven Little, A Little Compassion Inc. (ALC) was founded.
Together we will make the world a kinder, more fulfilled and inclusive place one community at a time.