The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Leader in Adult Autism Award Will Be Presented To Rising Tide Car Wash at the Autism Society of America's Conference July 12-15

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A breakout session on autism entrepreneurship will be sponsored by The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation at the Conference

The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Leader In Adult Autism Award

The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Leader in Adult Autism Award furthers our mission to inspire individuals diagnosed with autism, their families, and the community at large to not be limited in their aspirations for autistic adults.

John D'Eri, CEO of Rising Tide Car Wash, will accept the 2017 Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Leader in Adult Autism Award during the Autism Society of America's 49th annual conference to be held this year in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, July 12-15.

The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation (DJFF) was founded in 2002 as the nation's first autism organization focused exclusively on adults. Foundation President Linda Walder established the organization's namesake award in 2016, together with Scott Badesch, President/CEO of the Autism Society of America (ASA), to recognize an inspirational person, service provider, or employer in the field of adult autism to encourage all autistic adults and their families to dream big and roll up their sleeves to create options for employment, housing and leisure activities that open doors to full and productive lives.

From her Charleston, South Carolina, office Walder said: “The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Leader in Adult Autism Award presented annually at the Autism Society of America’s national conference furthers our mission to inspire individuals diagnosed with autism, their families, and the community at large to not be limited in their aspirations for adults diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).”

The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Leader in Adult Autism Award is a meaningful collaboration between the Foundation and the Autism Society of America, as both organizations share an abiding respect for the lifelong rights of all individuals diagnosed with ASD. The Autism Society’s national conference is world-renowned as the premier autism event for individuals, professionals, and families. The Autism Society of America, founded in 1965, is a leading national autism advocacy, resource, and family support organization whose mission is to increase public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people diagnosed with ASD.

According to Scott Badesch, President/CEO of the Autism Society of America, ”We are so grateful for our partnership with The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation, including their sponsorship of the Foundation’s Leader in Adult Autism Award, which recognizes the best in adult services for individuals on the autism spectrum.”

John D'Eri and his family started Rising Tide Car Wash in 2013. It has been recognized as a pioneering social enterprise with the primary mission to employ adults living with autism. In fact, eighty percent of the company's employees are on the autism spectrum. Located in Parkland, Florida, Rising Tide handles more than 500 car washes per day, and a second branch in Margate, Florida, is set to open in Fall 2017. The D'Eris were inspired to build the business by John's son Andrew, who is 24 and on the spectrum.

According to John D’Eri, "The Rising Tide Car Wash family is deeply honored to be the 2017 recipient of The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Leader in Adult Autism Award. The work we do everyday highlighting autism as a key competitive advantage in the workplace certainly has inspired us even more than we could have anticipated. The fact that our efforts are also giving hope to others around the world is so gratifying. And to be recognized as 'leaders in adult autism' by the leading adult autism organization, The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation, is very humbling.”

Autism Entrepreneurship

In addition to the presentation of the award on July 13th during the opening Keynote Session featuring self-advocates and moderated by a long-time friend and colleague of The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation, Dr. Barry Prizant, DJFF also will sponsor a breakout session entitled "Awakening the Autism Entrepreneur," featuring The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Leader in Adult Autism Award-honoree, John D'Eri of Rising Tide Car Wash, and Dr. Michael Alessandri, Executive Director of the University of Miami Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UM-CARD) home of The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Transition and Adult Programs.

“The purpose of the break-out session is to motivate conference attendees to start their own entrepreneurial businesses that employ autistic adults because we see this as a key avenue for individuals of all capabilities to work at jobs that benefit society,” says Walder. Dr. Alessandri adds, "We are excited to share the tools we have created that are blueprints for starting a business that respects the strengths and talents of autistic adults and provides them with meaningful employment.”

About The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation

Founded in 2002 by Linda Walder, a pioneer in the adult autism arena, The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation (DJFF) has blazed trails to develop, fund, and advocate for programs and public policy and services related to all aspects of adult life such as job training, residential living, the arts, recreation, health and wellness, and social/life skill independence. DJFF is named in honor and memory of Linda's son Danny who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and passed away at age nine.

Since 2014, DJFF has established endowment funds, known as The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Endowment Funds, that focus solely on adult autism at Yale University, the University of Miami, Rutgers University, and Brown University, in a first-of-its-kind initiative that in perpetuity will assure that the most innovative research, program development, support systems, and services will continue to serve the diverse population of autistic adults.

Says Walder: "Our aim is to ensure that for generations to come there will be an impactful focus on adult autism. Today, there are millions of Americans diagnosed with ASD, and multiply that by family members which means that the autism community is expansive. As a nation, it is our obligation to understand the various medical and sociological impacts of adult autism and create avenues for the diverse adult autistic population to live, work, and recreate, and to live the fullest lives possible. We also need to develop the infrastructure to support individuals and families throughout the lifespan by providing resources and service supports. The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Endowment Funds are poised to lead the way on all fronts for this generation and generations to come.”

For more information or to share a story about an inspiring person, organization, employer, or service provider in the field of adult autism in your community, click here.

For more information on the 2017 Autism Society of America Conference, click here.

(Interviews concerning The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Leader in Adult Autism Award are available with Linda Walder of The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation and with Scott Badesch of the Autism Society of America.)

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