Virginia Institute of Autism is expanding its impact

Updated: Sep. 24, 2020 at 3:34 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -A Charlottesville area nonprofit that supports people living with autism is expanding its impact in a big way.

Construction is underway as the Virginia Institute of Autism will expand to this facility in the spring. The bigger facility will house high school and adult programs, allowing VIA to nearly double its impact.

Jeff Coppola is on the Virginia Institute of Autism’s board. He also has an adult son with autism.

“As parents, my wife Mary and I are very excited for our son who’s going to have the opportunity to come to some place every day and continue to build on his life skills, his potential, and his innate strengths,” Coppola said.

In the spring of 2021, VIA will move to this bigger facility. A bigger space means a bigger reach.

“This will become our high school, our post high school, and our adult facility and so ultimately we think we’ll be able to ramp up and almost double our services," VIA President Ethan Long said.

Helping more adults living with autism develop independent living skills.

“Cooking, cleaning, vocational skills, how to take care of yourself and social skills and how to get a job," Long said.

All that construction does not come cheap.

“The Perry Foundation is a wonderful organization that has really stepped up. They’ve helped us with this capital for the project, and we just thank them so much," Long said.

The impact on adults living with autism and their families is priceless.

“Will make this reality even greater for parents like myself, and other families in the community that are dealing with what I call the proverbial falling off the cliff when they’re done with their public school education,” Coppola said.

VIA is having a virtual fundraiser on October 24. They will have more information on their website soon.

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