Published in the Ellicott City Patch
The Marion I. & Henry J. Knott Foundation has awarded Linwood Center $50,000 to fund its supported employment program for individuals with autism.
Linwood Center, based in Ellicott City, was founded in 1955 by the late Jeanne M. Simons, a pioneer in the field of autism. Linwood today provides education, employment and residential services for children and adults with autism and related developmental disabilities.
The Knott Foundation grant will help fund Linwood’s efforts to engage transitioning youth and adults with autism in work opportunities consistent with their interests. With the support of Linwood staff, individuals in its employment program currently work at Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, Sears, the local landfill and recycling center, and at the Linwood school as cafeteria and janitorial staff.
The Linwood Center Boutique, a gift and thrift store in Ellicott City, is also a work training site and a supportive environment for skill development , and individuals with autism work alongside non-disabled peers.
Other adult services include a community-based residential program, with live-in staff, at 11 homes located throughout Ellicott City, Columbia and Catonsville.
Linwood Center is also an approved nonpublic special education school for students with autism, 9-21 years of age, who are taught core subjects, as well as critical life skills. On-campus and community-based residential services are provided for children and adolescents.
A capital campaign is underway to raise funds for a new school building to meet the needs of the autism population throughout the Central Maryland region. The State of Maryland has invested over $1 million in the project, and other funding is now being sought among local supporters.
For information about Linwood, visit www.linwoodcenter.org, where donations are accepted online.