The Autism Alliance of Michigan will deliver gourmet meals to those who attend its 2020 Michigan Shines for Autism Virtual Gala.
The event will take place on Friday, and gourmet meals will be delivered to those who purchase tickets that are $150 or more. The program, auction, and entertainment will be live-streamed from 7:30-8:30 p.m.
The meals will be prepared by Forte Belanger, a caterer in Troy. Attendees provide their dietary restrictions and a delivery address when they purchase their tickets. Meals will be delivered through contactless delivery, and the three-course meals take about 30 minutes to prepare.
The live stream will feature entertainment by Your Generation in Concert, remarks from legislators and business leaders, mini documentaries featuring the alliance’s mission, and live and silent auctions.
The event will support the alliance’s work regarding employment for adults with disabilities, especially autism. The alliance’s goal is to have 101,000 adults on the spectrum employed.
“Tragically, in Michigan, our special education students are not prepared for the workplace,” says Dave Meador, chairman of the alliance and vice chairman and chief administration officer of DTE Energy. “Only 50 percent have high school diplomas, compared to 90 percent in some other states. At the same time, employers have experimented with hiring adults on the spectrum, but it is at very low scale.
“The result? After adults with autism leave the school system, they are sentenced to a life of quarantine, social isolation, and loneliness for the rest of their years.”
Adults on the spectrum live in poverty, Meador says. Most adults on the spectrum live with their families due to a lack of housing options and very little financial resources from Social Security. Accomplishing the alliance’s goal will drive systemic change from early childhood diagnosis, access to therapies, an overhaul of special education in Michigan, and working with employers to welcome people with disabilities and autism by setting hiring goals.
Registration and more information on the gala is available here.