The Faison School
1701 Byrd Avenue
Richmond, VA 23230
Phone: 804.612.1947

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Faison Residence Groundbreaking!

September 26, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Dateline: September 30th, 2014
Groundbreaking for The Faison Residence for Young Adults with Autism and Developmental Disabilities, on Thursday, September 26th

The first residential community of its kind on the East Coast

RICHMOND, VA: The Faison Centers of Excellence will break ground on The Faison Residence, a new state-of the-art residential community tailored to meet the challenges of young adults with Autism, on Thursday, September 26th at 4:00 pm. The Faison Residence at the corner of West Broad Street and Byrd Avenue, is the first residential community of its kind on the eastern seaboard.

This revolutionary “living learning environment” is designed to give young adults with developmental disabilities the opportunity to model and practice positive life skills.

“The organization’s scientific methods provide the crucial information about what creates a happy and productive world for adults with disabilities. This approach can advance what is possible, not only for the people that need special support but also as a model for humankind,” said R. Douglas Greer, Ph.D. of Teacher’s College at Columbia University, New York, NY.

The $15 million Faison Residence, designed by Baskervill architects of Richmond, VA, will have 45 apartments. Approximately one-third of the one, two and three bedroom units will house a diverse population of young adults with developmental disabilities, while the remaining apartments will be interspersed among a group of teachers, nursing assistants and other compassionate professionals. The program consists of family teaching services, advanced technological security support using HomeLink, day support and vocational programs as well as recreational and social opportunities.

“We believe The Faison Residence has the potential to be a model living environment that is safe, comfortable and promotes the greatest independence possible,” said Louis Hagopian, Ph.D., and Michael F. Cataldo, Ph.D., of the Kennedy Krieger Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.

The Faison Residence was developed in collaboration with partners at the Department of Behavioral Psychology at the Kennedy Krieger Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD; and the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS; with assistance from other organizations and autism advocacy groups from across North America. The Faison Residence will be a leading model in providing special needs care and treatment for the worlds’ burgeoning Autism population.

The Faison Centers of Excellence educational program, The Faison School for Autism, was established in 1998 and serves students from 28 independent cities and counties throughout Virginia. As a non-profit 501(c)(3) licensed as a day school by the Virginia Department of Education, The Faison School provides services on-site from early intervention through school age and intensive programming for children and young adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. In addition, the school offers a variety of consultative services, including home-program support, school consultation, after-care and summer programs and community workshops.

For more information about the groundbreaking for The Faison Residence on Thursday, September 26th or The Faison Residence, please visit

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Faison Project Gets Tweaked

Richmond Magazine, August 2012

You can view the original article from Richmond Magazine here.

Faison School officials committed to Compassionate Community projectBY CHRIS DOVI

It’s been about two years since the old Executive Hotel — alternately an eyesore or a charming landmark depending on whom you asked — was reduced to rubble and signs went up on the vacant lot where it once stood heralding the impending arrival of a new landmark, the optimistically dubbed Compassionate Community. Planned as a take on the popular mixed-use and mixed-income community development concept, but with a twist, the Compassionate Community as envisioned by the Faison School for Autism would be an innovative method of providing independent living opportunities for its clients. About two-thirds of the complex is envisioned as housing for professionals like teachers and medical professionals whose careers already touch the lives of individuals with autism.The project had the misfortune of kicking off just as the economy kicked the bucket.But as the weeds grow on the vacant Broad Street lot near Willow Lawn, Faison School officials say they not only remain committed to the project, they’re now seeing the delay as a good thing.

“We hit a market that wasn’t favorable,” says Wendy Kreuter, Faison’s vice president for operations and finance. The setbacks have allowed the school time to hone the programs that it plans to implement at the project, which may well be the first of its kind when it finally is built and occupied.Helping to review those plans is Dr. Michael C. Strouse, a Kansas-based expert in support and independent-living options for people with autism and developmental delays.Everything is being tweaked, Kreuter says. The original plans for the 78,000-square-foot facility are being reconsidered to better facilitate programming offerings.On the programming side, ongoing research into how people with autism spectrum disorders learn has advanced greatly, and the downtime has allowed Faison to consult with Strouse and to literally design those new developments into the project’s blueprints.The complex will offer not only independent living, Kreuter says, but also a unique ongoing habilitative and training program for people with autism spectrum disorders or other similar developmental delays.“We’re committed to it,” says Kreuter, who adds that fundraising continues toward the $15 million project.

Alan Kirshner

The Faison School for Autism congratulates Alan Kirshner, one of our founders, as the recipient of the Philanthropist of the Year award from the Central Virginia Association of Fundraising Professionals. Check out the RTD article here.

Check out our informational video!

Created for our 2010 Art for Autism Gala, this video highlights the programs and services at our school and their impact on families and the community.

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