Alternatives for People with Autism (APA) uses a set of core values to guide its efforts in all facets of its operation. Whether it’s the day-to-day services and programming for APA’s residents, the process of hiring, training, and promoting APA’s or the operation of APA as a non-profit organization, the entire organization follows the same set of core values:
Maintaining the dignity of APA’s residents is a foundational value. It’s one of the primary values that caused the founding of APA, which started as a study group of parents seeking quality, community-based residential services for adult sons and daughters with autism. The dignity of APA’s residents is a value that was held when the people creating APA were the parents of those residents, and remains just as important today, more than 40 years later. But the core value of dignity includes more than just the residents. APA treats its employees with dignity as well, always seeking to provide opportunities for education, growth, and career enhancement.
APA demonstrates its core value of professionalism in how it meets its responsibilities as a service and programming provider and in how its employees interact with residents and each other, as well as the community at large. We also maintain a deep interest in the professional path and career opportunities of our employees. We want them to have successful professional lives.
APA values respect for all people. Respect for the residents of our care, respect for the people who work here, and respect for the community in which we are located. Creating and fostering an environment of mutual respect is one way we ensure the dignity of everyone connected to APA.
One of the goals of the people who founded APA was to help their sons and daughters have increasing control over their choices and their lives. We want our residents to have a welcoming living community that helps people with autism live with dignity, opportunity, and growth. The goal of resident independence comes from the belief that all individuals can grow and learn, no matter their current abilities.
This value also applies to all people, whether residents or employees. As noted above, we believe everyone can learn. This extends to residents who learn skills that help them claim more control and choice in their lives, and APA employees who learn new skills, ideas, and processes that help both our residents and their own careers.
These are the core values that APA uses to make decisions, set goals, and evaluate outcomes. We live these values in the individualized, person-centered care and programming we offer every day. We believe these values will help us promote life-long learning in a safe home and welcoming community. These values stand as a commitment to residents, their families, and to the employees, supervisors, and board members of APA itself. They have proven the test of time over more than 40 years, and they continue to guide us today.