HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Open Door, a local business providing independent work, social and life skills to those on the autism spectrum, opened its own doors this afternoon. A ribbon-cutting ceremony at their Rhett Avenue location.
Serving the community since 2014, this new office space will provide additional services to those in the autism community, including job preparation skills, social skills classes and internal work opportunities for current clients.
“The mission for Open Door has always been to promote inclusivity and neurodiversity in our community, while at the same time providing on the job training to those with an autism diagnosis, by way of live work environments," said owner and founder David Stidger.
Open Door has partnered with 25 Huntsville businesses who have “opened their doors”, strives to be the go-to provider for young autistic adults whose goal and mission is to become independent.
Stidger says the goal is to teach his clients how to work and live as opposed to simply finding a job and giving them aid.
“We also want to practice what we preach so we have some clients that are working internally here at our office now," explained Stidger. "Another benefit of the building is that we’re able to host social skill classes, one-on-one social skill training. We’re only hoping to get bigger now that we’ve got a roof over our head and help more families locally.”
“The majority of adults on the autism spectrum face unemployment, even though many hold degrees that are in demand in our very own city and job climate. We have multiple clients who hold degrees in such fields as physics but have never navigated a real work setting. Our goal is to teach them how to become comfortable doing just that.”
Before moving into their new office, the company had around 10 clients and is now up to 20!