The Hussman Center for Adults with Autism is a university-based center dedicated to enriching the lives of adults with autism by promoting inclusive community engagement. Our center is committed to providing cutting-edge programming, training and resources for adults on the autism spectrum, Towson University students, professionals and others in the community. We offer a variety of programs to over 100 participants and more than 200 Towson University mentors and practicum students from 30+ majors are involved in Hussman Center learning experiences each year.
Vision and Mission
The Hussman Center advocates and supports adults with autism living as fully engaged members of the community. The center enhances opportunities for adults with autism to be fully engaged members of their communities through its activities in four core areas, all of which occur in collaboration with adults with autism:
- Integrating meaningful programs and activities for adults with autism and educational experiences for students and professionals.
- Evaluating and disseminating programs that use best practices and have high value to adults with autism.
- Conducting faculty-student research that addresses the needs and priorities of adults with autism.
- Serving as a resource to the campus, the surrounding community, and beyond regarding approaches that are inclusive and enhance the achievement of self-determined goals by adults with autism.
The Center for Adults with Autism was originally established in 2007 by a donation from Theresa and Douglas Erdman to “empower young adults who have ASD to keep learning and live life to the fullest”. The center offered inclusive programming for adults with autism paired with Towson University students. In 2008, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded nearly half a million dollars to Dr. Charlotte Exner and the Towson University College of Health Professions to develop a larger facility that would allow the Center to expand its services. The new center opened in 2012 as part of the Institute for Well-Being which houses multiple outreach programs for the College of Health Professions. In 2012, the center also furthered its development with an endowment from John and Terry Hussman, leading to its renaming as the Hussman Center for Adults with Autism. The same year, the center was awarded the Innovative Program of the Year by the Baltimore County Commission of Developmental Disabilities. Ongoing donor support from the Hussmans, the Erdmans, the Lisa Higgins Fund and the Jill Fox Fund has allowed the center to continue to grow and offer innovative inclusive learning opportunities for adults with autism and Towson University students.